Marnie and her kids live with family violence. But with the support of her community, and by learning about her legal options, Marnie is able to leave an abusive relationship. Clear Skies is Marnie's story.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, help is available. See our page Abuse and family violence for more information. See Who can help at the bottom of this page for contact information for who can help.
Sometimes leaving your partner can trigger more violence. It's very important to stay safe. If you're in immediate danger, call 911. To find the nearest victim service worker, safe house, or transition house, call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 (no charge, 24 hours a day). VictimLink provides services in over 100 languages, including 17 North American Aboriginal languages. See also Who can help? at the bottom of the page.
It's also very important to get legal help. Phone Legal Aid right away to find out if you qualify for a free lawyer: 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-866-577-2525 (call no charge outside Greater Vancouver). Or see the legal help options listed under Who can help? at the bottom of the page.
For more information about who can stay in the family home on reserve if your relationship breaks down, see our page Your home on reserve.
It's important to get legal help. Phone Legal Aid right away to find out if you qualify for a free lawyer: 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-866-577-2525 (no charge outside Greater Vancouver).
See our page Legal Aid can help you for more information on legal aid in BC. This page has information on how to apply for legal aid or get legal advice.
Legal Aid BC has a range of free publications that have legal information that can help you. This includes publications for the Aboriginal community.
Temporary accommodation (place to stay) in a community that doesn't have transition houses. It may be a rental apartment, private home, or a hotel unit.
Temporary housing that provides a safe and secure environment for women and their children leaving an abusive relationship.
A safety plan is made up of steps you can take to protect yourself and your children. It's a good idea for a friend, advocate, or victim service worker to help you make your safety plan.
A hearing where a judge or justice of the peace decides whether to release someone on bail before their trial. There are usually conditions they must follow while on bail.
The lawyer who works with the Ministry of Justice. It's their job to put forward the case against someone charged with a crime.
A court order that prohibits your partner or ex-partner from contacting you. The order may be a condition of release from custody before trial (bail). Or it may be a condition of probation.
It's a crime to break a no contact order. This includes all direct and indirect communication. Direct and indirect communication include texts, emails, voicemails, messages passed through friends or family, etc.
An order a judge makes to protect you from your partner or ex-partner. It lists the conditions that your partner must follow.
Someone who works with the police and the courts to help victims of crime. They provide information, referrals, and emotional support.
Crown counsel might ask you to fill out one of these. It gives you a chance to explain what effect the assault or harassment has had on you and your children.
A document that records the judge's decision. It's entered at the court registry after the judge makes their decision. Court orders include support, guardianship, protection, and parenting orders.
A court order if you live on reserve and you and your partner break up. It will say one of you has to leave the home for a long time.
Judges make these orders under the Family Homes On Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act. This act is new as of December 16, 2014. Find out more on our page Your home on reserve.
An order a judge makes in a family court to protect you from your partner or ex-partner. It lists the conditions that your partner must follow.
A temporary order a judge makes that applies to both parties. This is until you get a final order at a trial. The judge bases it on the limited evidence you and your partner or ex-partner presented when the order was requested.
Welfare if you're living on reserve. Find out more on our page Social assistance on reserve.
Welfare if you're living off reserve.
100 Mile House & District Women's Centre Society — Call 250-395-4093
BC211 — Helps people in Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley districts to find available shelters — Call 211
Elizabeth Fry Society — Burns Lake — Call 250-692-5720 (24 hours a day)
Elizabeth Fry Society — Prince George — Call 1-866-563-1113 (no charge, 24 hours a day)
Helping Spirit Lodge Society — Spirit Lodge Transition House — Call 604-872-6649
Native Courtworker and Counselling Association — Culturally appropriate support, explain legal situations — Call 1-877-811-1190 (no charge)
Vernon Women's Transition House Society — Call 250-542-1185
VictimLink BC — Counselling, information, and referrals — Call 1-800-563-0808 (no charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Women Against Violence Against Women — Counselling program — Call 604-255-6344 — Vancouver
Women Against Violence Against Women — 24-hour Crisis Line — Call 1-877-392-7583 (no charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) — Across BC
BC211 — Free confidential referrals to help and information — Call 211
PovNet — Information about poverty issues and links to organizations that can help
BC Association of Friendship Centres — Find a friendship centre in your area
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation — See their A Guide to Aboriginal Organizations and Services in British Columbia for organizations that can help
Aboriginal community legal workers — Give legal information and limited advice services
Legal information outreach workers — Give legal information and provide referrals
Access Pro Bono Law Clinics — Free legal help
Carole James, MLA, Community Office — Free legal clinic, including family matters — Call 250-412-7794
Family duty counsel — Free legal advice — Kwadacha and Tsay Key Dene — Call 1-877-601-6066 (no charge)
Family duty counsel — Free legal advice on family matters — Williams Lake, call 778-395-6200
First Nations and Métis Outreach Program (The Law Centre) — Free legal help, including family matters — Victoria
Legal Aid BC — Free legal advice clinics — Carrier Chilcotin Tribal Council and Williams Lake — 604-681-8021
Bella Coola Legal Advocacy Program — Free legal help — Bella Coola
UBC Indigenous Community Legal Clinic — Free legal help on various legal matters — 604-684-7334 (Greater Vancouver) or 1-888-684-7334 (call no charge)
Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society — Free legal help — Hazelton
Victoria Native Friendship Centre — Free legal clinic, including family matters — Call 250-412-7794