If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can ask for help and support from various services. You can also request protective measures, even if you decide not to file a police complaint.
Listening and support
You can ask for support from your loved ones, your employer, and specialized organizations at any time. You do not have to file a police complaint to benefit from this support.
Your loved ones
Domestic violence can be a lonely and isolating experience. If you feel comfortable, try talking about the situation with people you trust, such as your family and friends. In addition, here are some other places where you can find support.
Your employer has a legal duty to take measures to protect you in the workplace if they learn that you are experiencing domestic violence. This means that, by telling your employer or colleagues about the situation, you can benefit from certain protections. For example, you can ask for a safety and protection plan to be established for you.
You can also get support and assistance from a variety of specialized, free, and confidential services.
Financial assistance for moving
You may be eligible for emergency financial assistance to make a financial plan that allows you to leave your abusive partner. Visit the following links for more information:
- Emergency financial assistance for victims of violence – Justice Québec (French only) (gouv.qc.ca)
- Compensation for Victims of Crime (IVAC) | Éducaloi (educaloi.qc.ca)
Protective measures if you file a police complaint
Several measures are available to protect you if your partner or ex-partner is arrested and charged with a crime. Here are a few examples.
Conditions imposed on the accused person
The police or a judge can impose conditions on a violent person at various stages of the legal process, including when they are arrested and before they are released. If you fear for your safety, tell the police or the prosecutor so that this can be taken into account. You also have the right to receive a copy of the conditions that have been imposed.
These conditions may prohibit the accused from doing certain things or may require them to do some things. For example, they may be prohibited from contacting you or asking anyone else to contact you in any way (text, email, social media, etc.). They may also be prohibited from owning a weaponor consuming alcohol.
If your partner or ex-partner breaks their conditions, you can contact the police. Breaking conditions can have serious consequences. The person could be charged with breach of conditions, arrested, and possibly imprisoned.
Protecting your privacy
If your case goes to court, you can ask the prosecutor for a publication ban to protect your identity. A publication ban means the media cannot publish or broadcast your name.
Making it easier to testify
Testifying against a partner or ex-partner is not easy, but it is often the best way to prove that a crime has occurred. The judge can make special arrangements to make testifying easier for you. For example, you could testify with someone you trust by your side or by video conference from outside the courtroom.
Protection if the person is not convicted
You can request a peace bond, commonly called an “810”. This involves convincing the judge that you are afraid your partner or ex-partner will harm you or your family, damage your property, or share an intimate image of you. If the judge grants the peace bond, your partner or ex-partner will have to respect certain conditions, for example, not being allowed to contact you.
You can also apply to the Superior Court for a protection order (web page in French only), even if your partner or ex-partner has not been convicted of a crime. A protection order requires a person to stop harming you or damaging your home or property. It can also prohibit them from contacting you or going near you.