Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Resources and General Guidance
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant tension between partners and spouses in Ontario. Rolling lockdowns and restrictions have forced families into their homes, straining the mental health and wellness of many people across Canada. Relationships and marriages in Ontario and Toronto have faced increased strain, with some partners deciding on divorce, and in some circumstances, experiencing abuse. If you are considering leaving an abusive relationship, many people are in the same situation as you and are actively seeking out a way to leave the relationship. You can leave an abusive relationship while simultaneously protecting yourself from further abuse and retaliation.
Leaving a toxic marriage can be especially complicated when children are involved. Abusive partners will likely react negatively to you deciding to end the marriage. The fear of potential abuse is very real during a divorce and should be navigated with a legal professional. Divorces in Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can be increasingly more complicated to escape when children are involved, and you are best to seek out the proper guidance during these difficult times.
Learn how to safely remove yourself from a toxic or abusive marriage and lean on the many resources available to victims of domestic violence that are fleeing an abusive partner. Read this first before fleeing your marriage and successfully protect yourself and your children during a contentious divorce.
Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Hotlines and Victim Services in Toronto
You aren’t alone in an abusive relationship as many private and charitable organizations offer resources, guidance, and information that can help people successfully leave an abusive marriage or relationship.
EndingViolenceCanada.ca maintains a hub of information for people in abusive relationships tailored to audiences in Ontario and Canada. Here, people in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can find contact information from Ontario Victim Services, seek out various treatment centres, and learn how to connect with Legal Aid Ontario’s Domestic Abuse Hotline that offers round-the-clock services.
The City of Toronto website maintains several partnerships with abuse hotlines and victim services and is a great local resource for victims, family members, or close friends who are challenged by an abusive relationship. Additionally, the Province of Ontario website offers several guides for people who are victims of physical, financial, and emotional abuse, while the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has a long list of local hotlines, victim services, shelters, trauma programs, and much more that are all available to people in crisis throughout Ontario and the GTA.
Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Life After Divorce for You In Ontario
Victims who are concerned about the aftermath of leaving their abusive relationship should know that there are a wide variety of community services that address these issues. The YWCA Toronto works in partnership with many women’s crisis centers to ensure single women and single women with children leaving abusive relationships can gain access to affordable housing.
The City of Toronto also offers financial and employment support for people fleeing abusive relationships and can help you navigate some of the challenges post-divorce, including job searching and re-training. The Ontario Government also maintains extensive education and training resource pages for people in these situations, offering a roadmap towards successfully moving on from a troubled marriage.
Leaving An Abusive Relationship: The First Steps of Divorce
When you decide to leave an abusive relationship, ensuring you and your children remain safe is no simple matter. You don’t deserve to be in an abusive relationship or marriage, and there are many steps you can take to safely flee an abuser. While these tips are general in nature, they can help guide your decision-making in taking the next steps to ensure your safety.
Plan Your Exit Strategy
Don’t threaten your partner with divorce or restraining orders, but instead, quietly make plans and arrangements on your own time. Contact close family members or friends and clearly inform them of your decision. Lean on loved ones for a safe space for your or your children, and then inform your partner of your decision.
Ensure Your Privacy
Consider that your partner might dig deep into your social media profiles to monitor your whereabouts. Revise your privacy policies and restrict access so an abusive partner can’t track you down and cause more harm.
Create A Codeword
Develop a phrase or code word that can inform your family or friends that you are in danger with a simple phone call or text message. Drop the codeword if you are in immediate danger and allow them to call the police without informing the abuser.
Once you have left the household, refrain from contacting your abusive partner. This means changing addresses and rerouting mail away from your previous place of residence; do your best to plan ahead. Restrict any such communications and contact the police if you feel threatened or in danger in any way.
Connect With Legal Professionals
Seek out legal counsel and begin the steps of filing for divorce. Divorce lawyers can assist you throughout the process, help file restraining orders, and address any issues related to children and custody. Divorce professionals can offer legal advice and guidance to ensure your long-term safety.
Every situation is different and a proper divorce is best addressed alongside experienced legal counsel that can address your challenges while informing you of your own legal rights throughout the process.
Leaving An Abusive Relationship: Next Steps to Divorce With De Rose Lawyers
You aren’t alone during these difficult times and De Rose is here to help you navigate the challenges of divorce and inform you of your legal rights.
Plan for a life that is free from abuse. Ensure the safety and wellbeing of you and your family for years to come with the divorce professionals from De Rose Lawyers.