How can I protect myself and my
children during my separation or divorce?
If you are in immediate danger
If you are afraid of your
spouse and think you or your children are in immediate danger, call the
police right away.
You have the right to feel safe and to expect help from the police. It is
You can ask the police about getting a protection order for you and your
children. If there is a Transition House in BC (Canadian
Shelters see below) or safe home in your area, you can also ask the police
to take you there, or to another safe place - such as a relative's or
friend's house. The police can also refer you to a local Victim Services
(Prince George Victim Services call 250-561-3329 - in emergency call
RCMPolice at 250-561-3300 - or call 911) office where staff will work with
you to develop a personal safety plan. BC VICTIM SERVICE UNITS
SHELTERS IN CANADA MAP
If you are not in immediate danger
If you are afraid for your safety or the
safety of your children, but you are not in immediate danger, call the
Victim Information Line toll-free at 1-800-563-0808. The Line is open 8:30
a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Through the Victim Information Line, you will be referred to a Victim
Services (Prince George Victim Services call 250-561-3329 - in emergency call
RCMPolice at 250-561-3300 - or call 911) worker in your community, who can
tell you about how to get a protection order while you are going through the
process of separation or divorce, and refer you to other community resources
A Family Justice Counsellor can also tell you about protection orders, and
you may want to see a lawyer for legal advice.
If you have a speech or
hearing impairment, you can contact the police or the Victim Information
Line by calling the 24-hour 711 (TTY/Voice) telephone or 1-800-855-0511
What can the police do to help me?
In British Columbia, it is a
criminal offence (a crime) for anyone - including your spouse - to assault
you or your children, or to harass or stalk you, to threaten you with bodily
harm or to damage your property.
If you feel afraid or threatened by your spouse, you need to go to the
police right away. Once the police have talked to you, they will decide if
there is enough evidence to prove that your spouse has committed a criminal
If there is enough evidence, the police will probably arrest your spouse or
If there is not enough evidence, the police may apply for a peace bond -
spouse and ask the Crown counsel (a lawyer employed by the government) to
a criminal charge against him. If the Crown approves the charge, your spouse
have to go to court.
an "810 recognizance" - to protect you from your spouse, or they
LEGAL AID SERVICE SOCIETY
We're here to help
Welcome to the Legal Services Society (LSS), the organization that provides legal aid
If you have a legal problem and can't afford a lawyer, we can help. Join the
thousands who: use the self-help information on our Family Law in BC website,
find information for the Aboriginal community on our Aboriginal Legal
Aid in BC website, or, who read our freelegal information publications
Legal Aid Services
We have a
range of free services that may help you. We give priority to people with
low incomes, but many services are available to all British Columbians. We
our Aboriginal website;
the Family Law in
British Columbia website;
in some communities, legal information outreach workers and Aboriginal community legal workers.
duty counsel lawyers get (more information),
Representation (get more information) if you qualify and have:
child protection matters;
criminal law issues;
immigration, mental health, and prison law issues.
Mediation services for family law matters through the Mediation Referral pilot program
You can apply for legal aid by phone or in person.
I'm Looking For
Publications on legal
Publications in other
Recent news about LSS
Current BC legislation
I want to
out if I qualify for a lawyer to take my case
Find out if I qualify
for legal advice
Find out how to apply
for legal aid
Community Legal Assistance Society
The Law Centre A Service of the University of
Victoria Faculty of Law
Duty counsel lawyers for criminal law
You may be able to get help fromduty counsel in Provincial Court if you:
are charged with a crime, and
can't get a legal aid lawyer, or
haven't yet applied for legal aid
Duty counsel can provide you withadvice about:
the charges against you,
court procedures, and
- your legal rights (including the right to counsel
and the right to apply for legal aid).
Duty counsel can also represent you at a bail hearing.
If there's time, duty counsel can help with a guilty plea.
Who is eligible for duty counsel services?
You don't have to be financially eligible to get criminal duty counsel
services. However, you must meet LSS coverage and financial eligibility
requirements to receive ongoing representation.
Where to find duty counsel
Duty counsel is available at courthouses throughout the province. For duty
counsel hours in your area:
Contact your local court registry.
(Click the location nearest you to find the court's address, phone
number, and hours.)
Look in the blue pages of your phone book under
"Government of British Columbia — Court Services."
Are you Aboriginal? First Nations Court
If youself-identify as Aboriginal,
you may be able to have your bail or sentencing hearing in First Nations Court.
Courts are located in:
Duncan - Duncan
Government Street Duncan, BC V9L 1A5,
- New Westminster Court
Carnarvon Street, New Westminster, BC V3M 1C9, Phone: 604-660-8522
Columbia Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 6K4, Phone: 250-828-4344
Access to Welfare
BCPIAC works on systemic issues concerning provincial income
assistance (welfare). We are currently focusing on issues
impacting access to welfare.
Access to Legal Aid
A significant part of BCPIAC’s
mandate is to advocate on behalf of disadvantaged groups to
obtain access to justice and equality before the law.
Alberta Youth Law
Calgary Legal Guidance
Edmonton Community Legal
Legal Aid Alberta
British Columbia Public
Interest Advocacy Centre
Community Legal Assistance
The Law Centre Victoria, British Columbia
Legal Services Society B.C.
Education Association Manitoba
Legal Aid, Manitoba
Society of Nova Scotia
Centre for the Elderly Toronto
Advocacy Resource Centre
for the Handicapped (ARCH) Ontario
Justice for Children and
Legal Aid Ontario
Legal Services Toronto
Queen's Law Students Legal Aid Society Kingston, Ontario
Commission des services
Commission des services juridiques - Aide juridique Québec - English
Public Legal Education
Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA)
Legal Aid Saskatchewan
Yukon Legal Services
Welcome to JusticeBC
This website provides general information about family law in British
Columbia. It has information for people considering changes in their family
relationships such as separation and divorce, and may be of interest to
people thinking of marrying or living with someone in a marriage-like
Family Justice in B.C.
British Columbia is working
hard to ensure the right information and services are available for people
looking for solutions to their family law problems. The quick links below
may answer some of your questions. If you do not find what you are looking
for below, we encourage you to explore this website further
to learn more about family justice in B.C.
bond and a restraining orders
What's the difference between peace bonds and family law protection orders?
Protection Orders and the Protection Order Registry
Get Help Now
Peace Bond or Restraining Order
Online Resource for Victims & Witnesses of Crime in BC
Abuse & family violence
Abuse in relationships includes behaviour ranging from threats to physical
or sexual assault, and may also include harmful financial, emotional, and
verbal actions. Abuse can be physical, emotional or verbal, psychological,
sexual, and/or financial.
Legal System - The Basics
Such as: Abuse - Agreements - Court Forms - Court Orders - Divorce &
Guardianship - Legislation/Court rules - Mediation - Offers to settle -
Parentage - Getting help