Where can I get help for domestic abuse?

You can get help in an emergency, in a crisis, or anytime that you experience abuse. You can get help in many ways:

  • Call the police for emergency protection.
  • Go to a hospital or tell your doctor.
  • Call a telephone crisis line for assaulted women.
  • Contact a settlement agency.
  • Contact a community information centre.
  • Speak to a social worker or counsellor.
  • Go to a shelter.

Phone Numbers

  • Assaulted Women's Helpline - Call if you experience abuse or if you have a crisis. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    In Ontario: 1-866-863-0511
    In Toronto: 416-863-0511
    TTY: 1-866-863-7868
  • Emergency Police - Call 9-1-1 or look online for local emergency phone numbers.

Community Organizations

Settlement agencies or community organizations can help you. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me or contact a community information centre.


Shelters are safe places to stay. They are open 24 hours. They are usually free or charge a small fee based on your income.

Most shelters let you stay for a few weeks or even a few months so you can plan to escape the abuse.

Shelters also have counselling, support groups for women and children, referrals to services such as legal or health services and accompaniment to court. Staff can also help you get social assistance and housing if you need it.

Many shelters have staff who speak many languages or can get a cultural interpreter. A cultural interpreter is someone who understands your culture and can help you in that context.

If possible, contact a shelter ahead of time to find out if they have space. However, in an emergency, even full shelters will allow you to stay until they can find a safe place for you. They may refer and transport you to a local women's hostel. Hostels are for all women seeking shelter and also provide shelter to women in crisis.

To find a shelter:

For More Information

Last updated: March 2, 2020 4001343