The purpose of this site is to provide plain language information about the law to victims of violence in intimate relationships and their supporters. Willownet provides legal information that may help you if you are experiencing violence in a relationship. The site has information that is helpful on: facts about abuse, effects of relationship violence, what the law says about abuse, leaving the relationship safely (safety plan), taking your kids with you, pets, Protective Orders (EPOs, QBPOs) and going to court. The site also provides links to other family violence resources.
If you are in an abusive situation or at risk of being involved in crime, the following services may be able to help.
CPLEA Suggested Resources
Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.
Albertans affected by family violence can get help through the government and community organizations located across the province.
The Initiative increases access to legal services for Calgarians dealing with family law matters by providing clients with the information, advice and the support they need to take charge of their own file. Services provided include joint and uncontested divorces, parenting agreements, and coaching for self-represented litigants attending court. The Initiative is located at the University of Calgary's Downtown Campus.
These resources hae been developed by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA) for Albertans experiencing domestic violence and the frontline service workers who assist them. Resources address family-based legal issues that Albertans fleeing domestic violence need to consider before and after they have left an abusive relationship. The series covers:
- Alberta’s Protection Against Family Violence Act
- Child Custody and Parenting Orders
- Domestic Violence: How the Police Can Help
- Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs)
- Exclusive Possession Orders
- Financial Support Options
- Gathering Evidence of Abuse
- If You’re Thinking of Leaving
- Leaving an Abusive Relationship… If you are not a Canadian citizen
- No Contact Orders – Flowchart
- Peace Bonds
- Planning for an Emergency
- Preparing for Court
- Queen’s Bench Protection Orders
- Renting and Domestic Violence: Ending Your Lease Early
- Restraining Orders
- Serving Documents on an Abusive Party
- Working with a Family Law Lawyer
- Writing an Affidavit
For a complete list of resources in the Families and the Law: Domestic Violence Series please visit CPLEAs publication page at www.cplea.ca/publications/. Select Family Law from the drop down menu.
This online tutorial was created by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. There are several different kinds of protective orders. Some are available under federal law (the Criminal Code of Canada); some are available under provincial laws. If you have been abused and want the abuser to stay away from you, you can apply for protective court orders. These court orders tell the abuser to stay away. If the abuser then does not stay away, he or she can be punished.
These FAQs are provided by the Canadian Legal FAQs, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. This resource provides information about the types of protective orders available to people dealing with family violence in Alberta.
Today Family Violence Help Centre is an Edmonton based, non-profit organization that offers a safe place for individuals victimized by family violence to access free, confidential, emotional and practical support. Today Centre provides short-term support through risk assessment, safety planning, assessment of immediate needs, and supported referrals.
The Calgary John Howard Society's vision is to promote positive change through humane, just, and informed responses to crime and its effects. The organization provides programs for both adults and youth involved in the criminal justice system, or who are at risk for becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
Catholic Social Services is a multi-function social service agency that serves people of all faiths and cultures throughout central Alberta. Founded in 1961, the agency has grown to deliver more than 100 programs.CSS is divided into Service and Program areas offered in five distinct Regions throughout central and northeast Alberta. Major Service areas include: Children, Family, and Community Service,Community Outreach and Disability Service, Immigration and Settlement Service, and Substance Abuse and Corrections Service.
The Central Alberta Women's Outreach Society provides basic needs and emotional support for individuals as well as providing education and support in specific areas such as domestic violence, family law, and the effects of crisis on families. The Society offers a legal information and referrals program. This program provides legal information and referrals to individuals as they navigate through the legal and judicial system. Their staff will assist clients to identify legal issues and prioritize legal needs.
This website section of Alberta Human Services deals with the protection of children from neglect and abuse. Topics include: What is Child Abuse? How Can I Help? What happens when I call? The Law; Special Case Reviews; Publications (child welfare fact sheets).
Connect provides confidential 24-hour phone support and in-person services by appointment for people with questions about unhealthy or abusive relationships or sexual assault. Their website provides information on these topics, or call: Support Line: 403-237-5888 (Calgary area) or Toll-Free (in Alberta): 877-237-5888. They pledge to listen, suggest solutions and connect you with a network of people and agencies who can help - when you’re ready.
The Distress Centre offers a main crisis and addictions line as well as specialty phone lines providing crisis intervention and information and referral services 24/7, 365 days a year. Short-term crisis counseling is also available in person. 24 hour Crisis Line 403-266-4357.
Edmonton John Howard Society is a not-for-profit, community-based crime prevention agency. They provide assistance to people in conflict with the law, their families, those who have the potential to be in conflict with the law, and victims of crime. Their work to eradicate the root causes of crime helps build safety and harmony in communities. The Edmonton John Howard Society works to promote a better understanding of the Criminal Justice System and the consequences of breaking the law. Their work is accomplished through educational presentations provided to youth in the school system and the community.
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary (EFry) offers Pathways to Healing for women in conflict, or at risk of being in conflict, with the law by providing opportunities through supports and advocacy. Programs include: Prison and Community Outreach Program (PCOP), the Adult Court Legal Information Program, the Youth Court Work Program, the Community Awareness Program for Immigrants (CAPI), the Aboriginal Cultural Support Program, Berkana and Sabrina House, and the Volunteer Program.
This service is offered by Alberta Child and Youth Services, Family Violence Prevention Unit. Help is provided in more than 170 languages. If you think someone you know is experiencing family violence, reach out by calling the Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818, toll-free 24/7.
HomeFront is a non-profit organization that collaborates with the justice system, police and community partners to reduce domestic violence in Calgary and the surrounding area. The Domestic Violence Intervention & Resource Team (DVIRT) provide victims support through the court process. Their services are provided free of charge. You must be referred to them by the Calgary Police Services.
The John Howard Society of Alberta is a non-profit agency concerned with the problem of crime and its prevention. The organization takes its name and spirit from the 18th century humanitarian John Howard, whose name has become a symbol of humane consideration for prisoners. It was incorporated in 1949, and today the organization consists of six separately incorporated districts along with the Provincial Office. The website provides information about the services available in each of these districts.
This service of the Kerby Centre for the 55 Plus in Calgary focuses on providing answers and solving problems. Information is available on topics such as pensions, legal issues, government services, grants, home help, consumer affairs, transportation, congratulatory messages, and much more.