Posts tagged abuse and family violence
Hot Off the Press – For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders
For Your Protection (2018)

Back in stock and with a fresh new look: our popular booklet, For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders, has been completely redesigned as well as updated.

For Your Protection explains how and when people can apply for peace bonds and family law protection orders, and what the differences are between them. This revised version will be available later this year in Farsi, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and Punjabi.

Hot Off the Press - Sponsorship Breakdown

Back in stock! We’ve revised Sponsorship Breakdown to reflect changes to immigration law — most importantly, the elimination of conditional permanent resident status. We’ve also updated the chapter about applying for welfare and the section listing community groups and other help. Sponsorship Breakdown is for permanent residents who need money and other help when the person sponsoring them in Canada stops supporting them.

Hot Off the Press – One new and two revised French translation

LSS is committed to providing PLEI publications in our second language for our francophone community here in BC and for all French-speaking newcomers to BC. We’ve just released three new or revised French translations, available online only.

The new French translation:

Mères quittant un partenaire violent : Renseignements concernant le droit de la familleMothers LeavingAbusive Partners: Family Law Information

This booklet is a plain language guide for women who’ve been abused by their intimate partner (such as a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend). Topics include:

  • what is abuse
  • how to protect yourself and your children
  • what the courts can do
  • what will happen to the children
  • deciding parenting arrangements
  • where to get help and support
  • what to take with you when you leave

The revised French translations:

Vivez en sécurité, Mettez fin à la violence — Live Safe, End Abuse

Our fact sheets on abuse and family violence have been thoroughly revised and updated and combined into a single booket. This booklet is for people leaving an abusive partner. It contains information on what abuse is, how people can plan for their safety and protect their children, and who can help. Topics include:

  • safety planning
  • women abused by their partners
  • keeping your children safe
  • men abused by their partners
  • protection orders
  • getting help from the police or RCMP
  • who can help
  • if your sponsor abuses you
  • what to do about money
  • the criminal court process

Vivre ensemble ou séparémentLiving Together or Living Apart

We’ve revised and updated our popular, award-winning booklet. Previous versions are no longer accurate and should be discarded.

Family law can be complicated. But with the right information and help, you can solve many issues on your own without going to court. This booklet explains your legal options and where to get help. It also includes a chapter for immigrant families. Topics include:

  • your rights and responsibilities if you’re married or in a marriage-like relationship
  • how spouses can work out agreements
  • what to do if you decide to separate or divorce
  • how to work out arrangements for parenting if you have children
  • how to sort out money matters

All these translations are available, online-only, on the MyLawBC website. You can also find a full list of all our French PLEI publications.

Thank you to the Francophone Affairs Program in BC for funding these translations, made possible through the Canada–British Columbia Official Languages Agreement on French-Language Services.

How an afternoon with advocates made me understand Luddites

Sometimes we look through old posts and find ones so interesting we want to share them again. This is one of them. It originally ran in ELAN on Oct 21, 2013. Every fall we hold our Provincial Advocates Conference, which trains advocates from all around the province on legal issues.

Day one of the training was just for our community partners and I had a chance spend the day with them. Community partners are organizations across BC – in 24 communities right now [Ed. Note: we’re up to 26 now] – that work with people who may need legal aid. As part of their day-to-day jobs, they deal with people who need legal aid or who could use our resources, so we make sure that they are trained, up-to-date, and ready to point those people in our direction.

Part of the day was spent updating all of these advocates on legal aid services and resources: updates to our websites, new publications, ways of sharing information, and more. By request, the rest of the day was spent on a really interesting, and kind of scary, presentation by BC Society of Transition Houses’ Safety Net Canada Project on the (mis)use of technology and violence against women. Many of our community partners’ work often supports women and their children leaving abusive relationships and in recent years technology has been used more and more for harassment and stalking.

I deal with technology and the online world all the time. In fact it’s most of what I do at LSS. But some of the stuff that was brought up in that presentation absolutely floored me. I mean, I know that digital photos can contain location data about where they were taken, or that spyware can record what you type, or that you can disguise your phone number as someone else’s, but the implications of what that could mean for someone fleeing an abusive relationship never really crossed my mind. Some of it never even occurred to me; for example, I hate email forms – those text boxes that some sites make you fill out rather than just giving you an email address – but someone brought up that using them means that email addresses, say for a women’s shelter, don’t get stored in the address book or your email isn’t sitting in the sent folder. Two very real issues if someone is trying to track your online communications.

It’s pretty sobering, really, and I find it all a bit striking that people like our community partners have to think about this stuff every day at their jobs. I don’t want to fear monger though. The session wasn’t just about the dangers of technology. It was also about mitigating those dangers to protect yourself, and using technology to your advantage. While I don’t think I’ll be deleting my Twitter account any time soon, I can definitely start to see where Luddites are coming from.

I can’t speak for our community partners, but I had an eye opening afternoon that day. If the last three days were as interesting as the first, then I think everyone will walk away prepared to do a better job helping and advocating for their clients.

–Nate Prosser, Online Outreach Coordinator at LSS

Sponsorship Breakdown Update

A change in law means that a section of our booklet Sponsorship Breakdown is no longer accurate. Conditional permanent resident status no longer exists (the Canadian government ended this condition recently). If someone is a permanent resident, immigration officials won’t ask them to leave Canada if they separate from their spouse, unless they believe the marriage wasn’t genuine. The information in our booklet about conditional permanent resident status is no longer accurate and can be ignored. We’re in the process of updating the booklets in English and all other languages, but that process will take some time. In the interim, we will continue to distribute the existing edition, with an alert on the order page.

If you’re a community worker and have existing copies in your office, please inform anyone you give a copy to about this change.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to send them to

Hot off the press: Live Safe, End Abuse series

Our 10 fact sheets on abuse and family violence have been thoroughly revised and updated. The printed versions are now packaged together in a folder called Live Safe, End Abuse. The online version consists of a convenient single combined version. Live Safe, End Abuse is for people leaving an abusive partner. The fact sheets have information on what abuse is, how people can plan for their safety and protect their children, and who can help. Topics include:

  • Who can help
  • Getting help from the police or RCMP
  • If your sponsor abuses you
  • What to do about money
  • The criminal court process
  • Safety planning
  • Women abused by their partners
  • Keeping your children safe
  • Men abused by their partners
  • Protection orders

Order the new print version of Live Safe, End Abuse or read the combined version online.

Translations are coming later this year. Most of the original fact sheets are still available in simplified and traditional Chinese, Farsi, French, Punjabi, and Spanish, in print and online.

Live Safe, End Abuse replaces our booklet Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse, which has been discontinued.

Hot off the press - Mothers Leaving Abusive Partners

We’ve partnered with the YWCA Metro Vancouver to produce Mothers Leaving Abusive Partners. Formerly published as Leaving an Abusive Relationship, the booklet has been thoroughly revised, updated, and given a design “refresh.” Mothers Leaving Abusive Partners is a plain language guide for women who've been abused by their intimate partner (such as a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend). Topics include:

  • what is abuse
  • how to protect yourself and your children
  • what the courts can do
  • what will happen to the children
  • deciding parenting arrangements
  • where to get help and support
  • what to take with you when you leave

You can now order the print version of Mothers Leaving Abusive Partners and also read it online.

Hot Off the Press — Leaving Abuse

We’re excited to share our newest graphic novel Leaving Abuse. The story follows Maya, a young woman who has just left her abusive partner with her young children but doesn’t know where to turn. Leaving Abuse shows the steps Maya takes to get the help she and her children need:

  • Telling a close friend about her situation
  • Calling VictimLink BC to find out about community supports
  • Visiting a women’s centre to learn about abuse and who can help her
  • Visiting the Legal Services Society office to apply for legal aid
  • Working with a lawyer who helps her get a protection order in court and later helps her get court orders for custody and child support

With the help of a network of people, Maya realizes that she is not alone and feels empowered to start a new life with her children free from abuse.

Leaving Abuse tells Maya’s story through striking illustrations and basic legal information written in plain language to put a human face on the help that is available for women leaving abusive partners.

Leaving Abuse is available online and in print.

Hot off the Press: Clear Skies

Co-produced with the Healthy Aboriginal Network (HAN), Clear Skies is an innovative new approach to teaching the public about the law. This comic book uses an engaging story and striking imagery to tell the story of Marnie and her kids, who live with family violence. With the support of her community, and by learning her legal options, Marnie is able to leave an abusive relationship. Clear Skies speaks to Aboriginal youth and brings a human face to the legal process. During the development stage, Aboriginal youth asked LSS and HAN to create a video version of the comic book. View the video on the Clear Skies page on the Aboriginal Legal Aid in BC website. This webpage also lists resources and contacts to help people experiencing family violence.

Clear Skies is available online and in print.

Hot Off the Press: QMUNITY booklets

Safety in Same-Gender Relationshipsand Safety in Relationships for Trans* FolkWe’ve co-produced these two new resources for members of the LGBTQ and trans* communities with QMUNITY.

The booklets provide information about:

  • unsafe relationships,
  • examples of abuse and warning signs,
  • barriers to seeking help or leaving a relationship,
  • safety planning,
  • common myths about relationship abuse, and
  • community organizations where help is available.

Both booklets are available online and in print.

QWmunity booklets

QWmunity booklets

Hot Off the Press — If You Have a No Contact Order Made Against You

This new, online-only fact sheet explains what it means when the court makes a no contact order against someone involved in a family violence incident. It describes the five types of no contact orders and what might happen if someone breaches the order:

  • Condition of release from custody before trial (bail)
  • Condition of probation
  • Conditional sentencing
  • Peace bond
  • Family law protection order

It includes where to find legal help for criminal court and family court cases.