You will meet with a social worker to discuss your situation, identify your needs, and determine which programs you are eligible for.
Social assistance, employment insurance, loans and bursaries, family allowances, etc.
Your social worker can help you navigate the process for securing your bank account, opening a new account and/or closing a joint account.
If you own valuable jewelry or have important legal documents, you may want to consider getting a safe deposit box at your bank.
Your counsellor can assist you in the process of having your foreign diploma recognized. If you decide to pursue your studies, you can also count on your counsellor to support you.
If you already have work experience, your counsellor can assist you in your job search by providing you with information on the job market, internships, salaries, etc.
Your counsellor can help arrange a meeting with a lawyer who will guide you through the process of dividing the family patrimony (such as house, furniture, vehicles, savings, retirement funds, etc.) when you separate or divorce.
The duration of a stay lasts from three to five weeks, but can vary according to the needs.
Our shelter can accommodate up to four families at a time.
All our services, as well as our address, are confidential to ensure your safety.
For safety reasons, it is necessary for your children to change schools for the duration of your stay. A social worker will help you with this procedure.
For safety reasons, we encourage you to take a temporary leave of absence from your work. This will make you available to take care of formalities. Contact us for more information.
To guarantee the confidentiality of the shelter location, such visits are not allowed.
No. Although we ask you to be available to take care of your procedures, you are free to go out and do your usual activities, as long as they do not compromise the safety of the shelter and the organization’s house rules.
Yes. Our youth workers will pay special attention to the needs of your child. They will try to establish a meaningful connection with him/her to help him/her overcome the difficulties related to the situation at home.
Yes. Each family has access to a private room. The bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and playroom are shared areas.
Yes. Our services are provided in French, English, and Spanish. In addition, when needed, we use interpreters.
Every week, the women staying at the shelter draw up a grocery list. A shelter worker goes to the supermarket to buy the items on the list. Each resident must prepare meals for herself and her children and ensure that the kitchen is kept clean. Once a week, you may also be in charge of making a group meal. For women with specific food needs and/or intolerances, we provide food that meets their needs.
When dealing with a situation like this, keep track of the date and details of the events if you are considering filing a police report. Keep any harassing emails that your spouse sends you. If the harassment is by phone, it is possible to record the calls and messages from your spouse. Do not hesitate to contact the police when your safety and the safety of your loved ones is at risk.
Contact the lawyer in charge of your case to see what can be done, depending on your situation. If there are conditions in criminal court, do not hesitate to report your spouse’s actions to the police.
For your safety, it is preferable to file a complaint to put an end to the cycle of domestic violence. A complaint can also help you access some services for victims of domestic violence. However, filing a complaint is not mandatory. For different reasons, victims of domestic violence often do not want to file a complaint against their partner for various reason. However, be aware that the police can file a complaint if they deem that a crime has been committed (for example, hitting, visible injuries, death threats).
The police can investigate a complaint on multiple grounds such as physical violence, sexual assault, death threats, theft, and breaking items. Note that even though psychological and verbal abuse are not recognized at the criminal level, if you feel in danger, you can always call 9-1-1 to get help.
Regardless of whether it is you or a third party who calls the police during a domestic violence incident, you can expect the following steps to occur: The police will go to the location of the incident to meet with you and your partner individually to ask you questions. The police will ensure that you are safe, and in certain cases, the abuser may be detained.
If the complaint is investigated, the abuser will be given a list of conditions when released from detention, which may include the following: staying away from the victim, not contacting the victim and her family, etc.
Essentially, these conditions aim to protect the victim and, if another incident occurs, it will be easier to file a new complaint with the authorities because the new incident will be a breach of conditions.
Once a complaint has been filed and investigated, it will not be withdrawn even if you reconcile with your spouse or no longer want to file a complaint. The only person with the authority to withdraw a complaint is the Crown attorney. However, specific domestic violence policies prevent them from doing so in most cases. These policies exist throughout North America. They prevent the violent spouse from pressuring their partner to drop the complaint because she has no authority in the matter.
For a first criminal offence, the defence attorney may propose an out-of-court agreement known as a section 810 peace bond or an 810. With an 810, the partner is committed to maintain good behaviour and keep the peace, such as not possessing a weapon, staying away from, and out of contact with, the victims, etc.
For civil court, if you have little or no income, it is quite likely that you will be eligible for legal aid, which means that you will receive the services of a lawyer paid by a legal aid mandate. In this case, you will not have to pay for these services yourself. Click here to see the wage scales that determine your eligibility for legal aid.
For criminal court, crime victims do not have to pay for the costs of the proceedings and can be represented in court free of charge.
To ensure your safety and that of your children, it is strongly recommended that you ask a judge to decide on the legal custody of the children. In a domestic violence situation, the parent who wants to leave the familial home with their children has the right to do so without the other parent’s permission before making an official request for a ruling on legal custody.
The legal decision related to child custody will be made based on the children’s best interests, without taking your personal income into account. In addition, during the legal process, an assessment will be made as to whether your partner should give you child support (and alimony for you). The amount is established based on your partner’s income and yours. Finally, you should be aware that you can receive social assistance benefits if you have no other personal income.
In domestic violence situations, it is common for the abusive partner to use your immigration status to threaten or blackmail you. However, in most cases, these threats are unfounded. In fact, if you already have legal status in Canada, whether you’re a citizen, permanent resident, refugee claimant, or refugee, your spouse cannot decide to send you back to your country. If you don’t have legal status in Canada and you are experiencing a domestic violence situation, we recommend that you call us so that we can assess your situation to better advise you.
A sponsored person who has permanent residence cannot lose it if they decide to leave their husband on grounds of domestic violence, even if the three-year conditional permanent residence applies.
However, you may have to prove that you are experiencing abuse or neglect (complaint filed with the police, police event numbers, witnesses, recordings, stays in women’s shelters, etc.) Please call us to tell us more about your situation so that we can better advise you.
The legal decision related to the custody of your children will be made based on their best interest, without taking your personal income into consideration. In addition, during the legal process, an assessment will be made as to whether your husband should pay child support and alimony, and the amounts will be determined according to his income. Finally, you should be aware that you can receive social assistance benefits even if you are a sponsored person.
A asylum seeker can receive social assistance. She must submit an application to the “Centre spécialisé des demandeurs d’asile, des garants défaillants et des parrainés.“ Refugee claimants are also eligible for the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and for a work permit.
A person without status is usually not eligible for social assistance. They must legalize their status before they can apply for government services or renew a work visa. Please call us to discuss your situation further so that we can better advise you.