The purpose of this site is to provide plain language information about the law to victims of violence in intimate relationships and their supporters. Willownet provides legal information that may help you if you are experiencing violence in a relationship. The site has information that is helpful on: facts about abuse, effects of relationship violence, what the law says about abuse, leaving the relationship safely (safety plan), taking your kids with you, pets, Protective Orders (EPOs, QBPOs) and going to court. The site also provides links to other family violence resources.
Dating or relationship violence occurs when one member of a couple believes they have the right to control the other. This attitude can result in aggression, offensive language, disrespectful treatment, or pressuring the other person to do things. If this is happening to you, you may find support and information in the following resources.
The resources on this page were hank-picked by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta's staff as a good place to start.
CPLEA Suggested Resources
Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.
This site of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is provided by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. The law with regard to common law relationships in Alberta was changed in June 2003 with the introduction of the concept of ‘adult interdependent relationships’. This resource answers questions about how such a relationship is defined and the nature of adult interdependent partner agreements.
The world of dating is different than it used to be, this booklet provides important information about legal issues related to new relationships. This booklet is produced by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.
This online tutorial was created by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. There are several different kinds of protective orders. Some are available under federal law (the Criminal Code of Canada); some are available under provincial laws. If you have been abused and want the abuser to stay away from you, you can apply for protective court orders. These court orders tell the abuser to stay away. If the abuser then does not stay away, he or she can be punished.
This online resource is provided by Willownet, a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. This resource includes information about restraining orders in emergency and non-emergency situations, as well as the process of getting a restraining order, and the steps to take after applying for a restraining order.
Today Family Violence Help Centre is an Edmonton based, non-profit organization that offers a safe place for individuals victimized by family violence to access free, confidential, emotional and practical support. Today Centre provides short-term support through risk assessment, safety planning, assessment of immediate needs, and supported referrals.
This publication from Alberta Children and Youth Services (Prevention of Family Violence and Bullying Unit) explains the nature of abuse in LGBTQ intimate relationships. It then describes what you can do if you realize that you are in an abusive LGBTQ relationship or you are concerned about a friend who may be in such a situation. (PDF – 15 pages)
This online resource is from the Student Legal Services of Edmonton. Includes information about: What is Assault?, Intent, Consent, Self-Defence, Legal Options Available to the Victim, and Self-Referral Numbers. This resource is also available for download as a PDF (6 pgs)..
Calgary Counselling Centre is a charitable organization committed to providing compassionate, professional, and affordable counselling services to Calgarians. They offer counselling and group programs for individuals, couples, parents, families, and youth to help them resolve emotional and social problems. In addition to its may group and individual program services the Centre also offers a Male Domestic Abuse Outreach Program which provides counselling, advocacy, social service referrals (housing, financial aid, legal guidance, support) to men and their families experiencing domestic abuse of all forms.
The Calgary Domestic Violence Collective’s purpose is threefold: to develop capacity to address domestic violence for professionals and allied professionals; to inform and influence decision makers around a framework for ending domestic violence; to ensure a collaborative and coordinated community response to domestic violence in Calgary and Area. Their website includes research reports on a variety of aspects of domestic violence. (Former name: Alliance to End Violence)
This online resource from the Student Legal Services of Edmonton includes information about common law relationships and the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, property rights, other benefits and statutes (Alberta) and Federal Acts. This resource is also available to download as a PDF.
Community Initiatives Against Family Violence (CIAFV) is committed to strengthening Edmonton's capacity to take constructive action against family violence and bullying using innovative strategies that will support the creation of a collaborative, coordinated, community response to family violence and bullying.
This publication from Alberta Children and Youth Services ((Prevention of Family Violence and Bullying Unit) explains how you can tell the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy or abusive one. It also discusses how you can stay safe in the dating scene and still have fun, as well as what you can do if you find yourself in an abusive dating situation or how to help a friend in such a situation. (PDF – 13 p.)
HomeFront is a non-profit organization that collaborates with the justice system, police and community partners to reduce domestic violence in Calgary and the surrounding area. The Domestic Violence Intervention & Resource Team (DVIRT) provide victims support through the court process. Their services are provided free of charge. You must be referred to them by the Calgary Police Services.
This website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA) focuses on how Canadian law protects and affects older adults. Topic areas covered include elder abuse, planning for the future, personal and family relationships, and various other issues (e.g. consumer, travel).
Sagesse assists women who have experienced domestic violence or are at risk of being abused. They empower individuals, organizations and communities to break the cycle of domestic violence by curating environments to heal and lead safe, healthy lives . The literal translation of Sagesse is wisdom.The agency encourages the wisdom to seek help, to support and connect, to share knowledge, to self-reflect, and lastly, to create space for healing, learning, and growth.
The Family Centre exists to foster healthy families in healthy communities. The Centre works to strengthen family wellness and build community capacity through innovative services and collaborative partnerships to engage our most vulnerable families in caring for our children. The Rainbow Pages Youth Resource Guide was developed by The Family Centre to provide LGBTQ+ youth and the youth-serving community a consolidated guide of the supports available in Edmonton.
This site provides information, links and resources developed for The Walking the Path Together (WTPT) Project. The project was a partnership of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS), the Centre for Children & Families in the Justice System, five Alberta on-reserve First Nations shelters.
Relationship violence can strike anyone, but teenagers are particularly vulnerable to misconceptions about what physical and emotional violence are, and what they mean. If it hurts, dominates or controls, it's not romance! This page from the Red Cross provides links to publications about relationship violence, what is is, what parents can do, and information about what is healthy and unhealthy in relationships.