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HELP: Leaving an abusive relationship

October 04, 2018
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Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult, taxing and scary

Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult, taxing, and scary but, there are resources and legislation in place to make your process of leaving much easier. To start, visit our transition guide to find a step-by-step guide to leaving an abusive relationship. Below we’ve included some other important things you should know as you prepare to leave. 

If you are currently experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Check out this toolkit from the Native Women's Association of Canada. Along with information about what domestic violence is and how to identify it, the document outlines helpful steps on planning to leave an abusive relationship and ways to stay safe after you leave. 


Talk for Healing: Talk4Healing is a helpline available to all Aboriginal women living in urban, rural and remote communities, both on and off reserve, throughout Northern Ontario.

Telephone: 1-855-554-4325

DAWN-RAFH has a list of crisis hotlines for your needs depending on where you are located in Canada.

Kids Help Phone: This is a 24/7 helpline that connects young people with counsellors. Youth who are affected by domestic violence can find a place to talk about their struggles and feelings here. 

Telephone: 1-800-668-6868

The Department of Justice hosts a Victim Services Directory to help connect you with a variety of support services, including counselling, shelters, witness preparation, crisis intervention, etc.

Find a women’s shelter near you, or other frontline services tailored to Indigenous people, find your local Friendship Centre.

Educate yourself on the difference between a peace bond and a restraining order, and consider if you will need one in your current situation.

Lease Termination

Most provinces allow tenants to give their landlord one month/28 days of notice to leave a rental unit in instances of domestic violence. Landlords are required to keep your information private and ending your lease usually requires a letter and court order. For more information, check your province’s rules:

In Manitoba, employers are obligated to offer their employees a period of paid leave from work in instances of domestic violence. Other provinces have programs and funding in place for victims of violence to receive compensation for certain costs they may have incurred due to the abuse.

Legal Aid

If you need help accessing legal assistance, or have financial barriers to hiring a lawyer, look into your province or territory’s legal aid program.

Take care of yourself

Leaving an abusive relationship can take a heavy toll on your mental health. Make sure to address your stress and anxiety levels and seek help if you need it. The Canadian Mental Health Association and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have resources and directories to help you find support in your area.

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