Supporting Victims Of Domestic Violence
McGuinty Government Improving Family Justice For Victims Of Abuse
A program that helps victims of domestic violence navigate the court system is now available in all court districts across the province.
The Family Court Support Worker program keeps victims of domestic violence informed and protected throughout the family court process by:
- explaining the family court process
- working with victims to document the history of abuse for the court
- referring victims to specialized services and supports in the community
- helping with safety planning related to court appearances
- accompanying victims to court proceedings.
The program is part of the McGuinty government's family law reform strategy to make the family justice system more straightforward, focused and affordable, and to provide accessible and consistent family justice services for all Ontarians.
- The Family Court Support Worker program is available in all 49 court districts across the province.
- Approximately 170,000 people use Ontario's family courts each year.
- Women who have been victims of domestic violence are at an increased risk of further violence during separation or divorce.
- Ontario partnered with Luke's Place, Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes, the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and Springtide Resources to prepare workers to deliver the new program.
“For many people trying to flee abusive relationships, the decision to go to court can take courage - and this is where these family court support workers can help. By providing vital support and assistance, we're helping abused individuals take those crucial first steps towards a new life for themselves and their children.”
“The majority of our clients are immigrant or vulnerable women who have complex legal needs. For these women, a Family Court Support Worker is a valuable and empowering resource. I am proud of our involvement with this program.”