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.
Get Help in Alberta
If it is an emergency please call 911.
Family Violence Info Line – 310.1818
Talk to trained staff over the phone toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in more than 170 languages.
Provincial Abuse Line – Call 1-855-4HELPAB (4435722)
Connect with resources, support, services and referrals
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.
This kit has been designed for landlords, property managers and anyone else who works on-site or has access to residential rental units. It will help you understand the role you can play in preventing domestic violence on your premises. It also provides basic information on dealing with domestic violence when it does occur. For more CPLEA resources on abuse and violence in a relationship see: www.willownet.ca and www.cplea.ca/publications/abuse-and-family-violence/
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.
This resource, Support Services for Albertans, is a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of organizations across the province that provide a multitude of services that compliment the support Legal Aid Alberta is able to provide. The resource mainly focuses on organizations offering legal supports to residents, but also provides information about organizations that provide social supports for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. This includes, but is not limited to, women in abusive relationships, Indigenous Albertans, youth, and the homeless.
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.
This website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA) focuses on how Canadian law protects and affects older adults. Topic areas covered include elder abuse, planning for the future, personal and family relationships, and various other issues (e.g. consumer, travel).
Calgary Counselling Centre is a charitable organization committed to providing compassionate, professional, and affordable counselling services to Calgarians. They offer counselling and group programs for individuals, couples, parents, families, and youth to help them resolve emotional and social problems. In addition to its may group and individual program services the Centre also offers a Male Domestic Abuse Outreach Program which provides counselling, advocacy, social service referrals (housing, financial aid, legal guidance, support) to men and their families experiencing domestic abuse of all forms.
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. Provide support and assist individuals throughout the various stages of the record suspension application process.
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. Caseworkers provide support and assist individuals throughout the various stages of the record suspension application process.
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. The Elizabeth Fry Society helps women with the process of applying for a record suspension.