What Help is Available?
Advice and Counselling: Counsellors are able to help you with your emotional well-being. This can range from depression and crisis, to loneliness and guilt. Counsellors can help put problems in perspective and make them seem more manageable. Counselling is confidential and non-judgmental.
Doctor: You should see your doctor especially if you have physical injuries that need to be treated. A doctor will also be able to keep a record of injuries as evidence for court use.
Hospital: If your health or the health of your children is in immediate danger, you should go to the hospital emergency room. If you are not able to drive, an ambulance will take you there.
Human Rights Office: If you are a student, your university may have a human rights office that will be able to provide advice, support, and resources to any community member with concerns in the area of human rights. This would include harassment and/or discrimination based on race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, disability, and gender identity. Racism, sexism, sexual abuse, and homophobia are some of the ways that people experience harassment and discrimination.
Legal Aid: Legal aid is legal support by a lawyer that is available to low income individuals and disadvantaged communities. Legal aid will assist in a variety of legal problems, including criminal matters, family disputes, immigration and refugee hearings, and poverty law issues. Contact your local legal aid office for more information.
Multicultural Organizations: Multicultural organizations have staff and volunteers who are from many different cultural backgrounds. Information and support will be available in different languages so that you will be able to express yourself in the language you feel most comfortable. Multicultural organizations usually provide information, referral, supportive counselling, and advocacy and wellness education.
Police: You can call the police if the abuser assaults you or says he will. The police will come. Many police officers are trained to deal with abuse in families and relationships. They can take you to a hospital if you need medical assistance. They can help you leave safely. They may have to charge the abuser. In an emergency, dial 911. it is becoming more common that there will be an interpreter in your language.
Social Worker: Social workers respond to crises and emergency situations as well as intervene in everyday personal and social problems. Social workers serve individuals, families, and communities. Social workers can be involved in individual counselling, group work, family treatment and therapy, and help people obtain services and resources in their communities.
Telephone Crisis Line: Often what you need most is for someone to listen to you. Most telephone crisis lines are confidential and anonymous. Staff listen to your concerns and usually offer suggestions about other community services where you could go for help.
Women's Centre: There are more and more women's centres now to support the needs of women. Women's centres can offer language specific counselling, information sessions for women facing abuse, groups for women with children, groups for new immigrants, life-skills programs, employment and job search assistance, and volunteer opportunities.
Women's Shelter: A shelter is a safe place where you and your children can stay for a few weeks. It is free to stay in a shelter until you find a better place to live. Staff at a shelter will give you support and information. They can help you get legal advice, financial help and a new place to live, if this is what you want. They have food, clothing, diapers, and toys in case you do not have time to pack. The phone numbers for local shelters are usually listed in the first few pages of the telephone directory along with other emergency numbers.
Note: For specific phone numbers and addresses of organizations that can help, please see 'Support and Information'.
Human Rights Office Main Page
General Information | Policy & Procedure | Anti-Racism | Sexual Harassment
Sexual & Gender Diversity | Stop It Program | Positive Space Program
Transgender/Transsexual Policy Group | The End to Hate Project
Important Faith Dates | Dear Jen | Human Rights Initiative Award