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domestic violence

Hot off the press: Relationship abuse fact sheets now available in print in Farsi (Persian)

Live Safe - End Abuse

liveSafeEndAbuseSeven fact sheets in the Live Safe — End Abuse series are now available in print in Farsi (Persian). The fact sheets cover 11 topics to inform readers about relationship abuse (family violence). We identified seven topics that would be most helpful to someone dealing with family violence. These seven fact sheets are also available in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Punjabi, and Spanish.

  • Getting Help from the Police or RCMP explains the right to call police in abusive situations, how police can help, and what happens when police arrest an abuser.
  • If Your Sponsor Abuses You describes what newcomers (immigrants) to Canada can do if abused by their sponsors or when leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Parenting explains what the terms guardian, parenting time, parental responsibilities, and contact with a child mean under the BC Family Law Act, and describes parenting orders and limits on parenting.
  • Protection Orders explains peace bonds, no contact orders, and family law protection orders, and how to apply for them.
  • Safety Planning gives details about how to make a safety plan for use at home, outside the home, and after leaving an abusive relationship.
  • The Criminal Court Process describes what happens when an abuser faces criminal charges, what it means to be a court witness, what happens at trial, and possible sentences.
  • What Is Abuse? explains that abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, financial, or sexual, and that certain types of abuse are crimes.

All the fact sheets list community support services and legal resources. See Abuse & family violence for all the fact sheets in this series.

All fact sheets in this series are folded for display in brochure racks.

Hot off the press: Relationship abuse fact sheets now available online in five more languages

Three fact sheets in the Live Safe — End Abuse series are now available online in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Farsi, Punjabi, and Spanish. The series is designed to inform and educate readers about relationship abuse (domestic violence), and covers 11 topics.

We identified three topics that would be of most help to someone who is dealing with domestic violence.

  • Getting Help from the Police or RCMP explains the right to call police in abusive situations, how police can help, and what happens when an abuser is arrested.
  • Safety Planning gives details about how to make a safety plan for use at home, outside the home, and after leaving an abusive relationship.
  • The Criminal Court Process describes what happens when an abuser faces criminal charges, what it means to be a trial witness, what happens at trial, and possible sentences.

All the fact sheets list community support services and legal resources for more help (phone numbers, websites, and publications). See Abuse & family violence for a complete list of all the fact sheets in this series.

The new versions are available online only.

Is Your Client Safe? Behind the scenes

Earlier this year, we released a new brochure, Is Your Client Safe? A Lawyer’s Guide to Relationship Violence. How did we decide on this topic and what information to include? In this 3.3-minute video, Alex, our publications development coordinator, gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into planning and producing one of our publications.

Is Your Client Safe? was created in association with the Ending Violence Association of BC with funding from the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (now the Ministry of Justice).

Hot off the press: Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse now available in French

Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse is now available online only in French.

This booklet outlines what abuse is from a legal perspective and what a woman’s legal rights are if she is in an abusive relationship. It also explains what women can do to protect themselves and their children, and who can help. This French version includes a chapter about violence against Aboriginal women in relationships and lists resources available to them. The booklet is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese, English, Punjabi, and Spanish.

Hot off the press: Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse

Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse (English)

This booklet has just been reprinted with minor revisions, including updates to Chapter 10: Who can help you?. This English version includes information and resources for Aboriginal women who have been victimized by relationship violence. The booklet is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese, Punjabi, and Spanish. The French version is coming soon.

Hot off the press: Is Your Client Safe?

Is Your Client Safe? A Lawyer’s Guide to Relationship Violence

This new brochure about relationship violence for family law lawyers and advocates was co-published with the Ending Violence Association of BC. It describes relationship violence, the indicators of abuse, and the risk factors. It explains what to do if your client has been victimized, and includes safety planning information, links to resources, and where to get help.

Also see the related fact sheet series Is Your Client Safe? The fact sheets cover the following topics:

  • Encouraging Disclosure
  • Relationship Violence Client Resources
  • Relationship Violence Legal Resources
  • Safety Planning for You and Your Staff
  • Safety Planning for Your Client

Reply to Open Letter to LSS

LSS received an open letter in response to one of ten fact sheets in our award-winning Live Safe End Abuse series, an information sheet for men abused by their female partners. Although written in gender-neutral language, the balance of the fact sheets are intended to meet the needs of abused women. Concerns had been brought to LSS in the past regarding the exclusive focus of our Legal Information for Battered Women series and the Live Safe End Abuse series was intended to address those concerns. We agree with feedback that it would be appropriate to address abuse of a woman by her male partner with gender-specific language, particularly as we have addressed the issue of men’s abuse by women. Accordingly, we have now posted a fact sheet with gender-specific language for women abused by men.

As to our publishing priorities, we are aware of the scarcity of resources and take care to avoid duplication of public legal information. In planning the scope of the Live Safe End Abuse series, we were informed by our Report on a Community Review of LSS Publications on Violence against Women in Relationships, available on our website.  Somewhat surprisingly, considering the topic was violence against women, the need for a publication for men abused by women emerged.  The report also flagged a need for information regarding abuse for the LGBT community. During our follow-up research, we found no BC publications for men abused by women, but did find resources for the LGBT community. Rather than duplicate information, we linked to the EVA website which has a compilation of resources. The issue uncovered in our Report seemed to reflect a lack of awareness of existing resources rather than an absence of resources. To further improve accessibility, we added additional links to EVA’s site, and worked with Qmunity, adding direct links to their website and Abuse in Same Sex Relationships and Transgender People and Relationship Abuse publications.  We are committed to continued work with community agencies to identify and fill gaps in public legal information.

Our fact sheet for men was, and is, consistent with government-produced Canadian public information on the topic. The men’s publication has been well received by victim serving agencies that work with this demographic. The appreciation expressed and the demand for this information confirms LSS is on the correct track in providing it. However, concern was raised that the original publication could be used by abusive men to further abuse women. While a seemingly small possibility, because we could both respect that perspective and still provide relevant information for men, change was made. In addition to addressing that primary concern, other suggested minor changes as referenced in the open letter were introduced. Our next steps include additional legal and social science research to further consider points raised in the open letter and consultations to ensure that both men’s and women’s information needs are met by the newest fact sheets.  Interested agencies will be kept apprised and provided opportunity for feedback.

Sherry MacLennan
Director, Public Legal Information & Applications
Legal Services Society

Hot off the press: Women Abused by Their Partners, Abuse in Same-Sex Relationships, and Transgender People and Relationship Abuse

Women Abused by Their Partners

This new fact sheet is about women abused by their male partners. An addition to the Live Safe — End Abuse series about relationship abuse (domestic violence), it explains what the term abuse means, abuse that is against the law, and where to get community support services and legal help. The fact sheet is now available online only.

Also available on the LSS website are two other publications dealing with relationship violence: Transgender People and Relationship Abuse and Abuse in Same-Sex Relationships. Both brochures describe abuse, in transgender and same-sex relationships respectively, and provide a list of available resources. These publications were produced by Qmunity, a resource centre for the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and queer community.

Grant awarded to create a domestic violence brochure for lawyers

 LSS has partnered with the Ending Violence Association (EVA) to create a domestic violence brochure for lawyers that will help them identify clients at risk. The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s (PSSG) Domestic Violence Action Plan has awarded LSS a $10,000 grant to develop, produce, and distribute the publication for lawyers who deal with potential victims of domestic violence.

The brochure will be designed to help lawyers identify when a client may be at risk of domestic violence, and provide guidance about where clients can be referred to get more help. Providing information to lawyers may increase the chance that a client at risk of domestic violence will receive help sooner.

Funding for the PSSG Domestic Violence Action Plan grant was made available through civil forfeiture proceeds. The Civil Forfeiture Act and Regulation allows the director of Civil Forfeiture to initiate civil court proceedings against property believed to be the proceeds of criminal activity. PSSG has redirected these funds to various programs that support victims of violence, including programs run by police and organizations that work with or deliver victim service and violence against women programs.

Production of the brochure is scheduled to begin in the fall.

For more information about the PSSG Domestic Violence Action Plan grants, please see Putting a Stop to Domestic Violence.

Hot off the press from LSS: Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse

Surviving Relationship Violence and AbuseSurviving Relationship Violence and Abuse – Chinese (traditional)

Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse – Spanish

This publication is now available in Chinese (traditional) and Spanish, in print and online. It is also available in Chinese (simplified), English, and Punjabi.

It outlines what abuse is from a legal perspective and what a woman’s legal rights are if she is in an abusive relationship. It also explains what women can do to protect themselves and their children, and who can help. The English version (only) includes a chapter about violence against Aboriginal women in relationships and lists resources available to them.

This booklet was written for advocates and community workers who support women who are being abused, assaulted, or harassed by their husbands, boyfriends, or ex-partners. The information provided applies to women who choose to stay in their abusive relationships and to those who have left or who are trying to leave. This publication replaces the booklet Speaking of Abuse: Violence Against Women in Relationships. Some multilingual versions of Speaking of Abuse are still available.

For more information about Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse please visit the LSS website.