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.
Here you will find selected resources focused on women’s rights and equality issues as well as women’s participation in the law and public policy development. If you are looking for resources aimed at Aboriginal women, see the section Aboriginal Women.
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.
Canadian Law and the Modern Day Foreign Bride is a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. The website was created in collaboration with Changing Together… a Centre for Immigrant Women and is intended to address issues facing foreign brides who generally wish to enter Canada via sponsorship in the family class. The site is geared towards providing information to individuals who are: thinking of marrying and moving to Canada, in the process of having an arranged marriage with someone in Canada, coming to Canada as a mail order bride, and more….
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary offers pathways to healing, through supports and advocacy, for women who are affected by systemic social issues which contribute to their criminalization.. The Legal Clinic Program assists federally sentenced women at Edmonton Institute for Women by addressing their legal needs. Their court liaisons and volunteers assist youth and adults in the criminal court. They provide legal information regarding plea options and processes, as well as assist individuals with referrals to legal and community resources.They also provide referrals to duty counsel and other community resources.
The Women's Centre of Calgary is an ongoing source of information, support and advocacy. The Centre offers women quick access to emergency food, personal care supplies and bus tickets. It provides referrals to other agencies for food, clothing, furniture, housing, health, employment, education and recreation. The Centre operates a Legal Advice Clinic where volunteer lawyers provide free, half-hour legal advice sessions to women. The clinic is aimed at providing women with the preliminary information and support they may need to access the legal system. Family and other types of law are addressed, but not criminal law.
In August 2016, the Residential Tenancies (Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence) Amendment Act, Termination of Tenancy (Domestic Violence) Regulation, and amendments to the RTA Ministerial Regulation, were proclaimed. These changes to the RTA allow victims of domestic violence to end a tenancy early and without financial penalty. This legislation applies in cases where if the tenancy continues: • The tenant’s safety is at risk; • A dependant child’s safety is at risk; or • A protected adult’s safety is at risk.
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.
CAEFS is an association of self-governing, community-based Elizabeth Fry Societies that work with and for women and girls in the justice system, particularly those who are, or may be, criminalized. The website provides contact information for member societies across the country and a directory of programs and services in each region.
CERA’s Women’s Program was established in early 2000 to address low-income women’s experiences of inequality and discrimination in housing in Canada. The Women’s Program undertakes advocacy, litigation support, networking and research aimed at investigating and addressing the economic and social conditions that contribute to women’s inequality in housing.
LEAF is a national, non-profit organization committed to using the provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to promote equality for women. The organization has a two-fold mandate: to ensure that the rights of women and girls in Canada, as guaranteed in the Charter are upheld in our courts, human rights commissions and government agencies and to provide public education on the issues of gender equality. LEAF also undertakes legal action by intervening at the Canadian appellate courts on significant cases that will establish important principles of equality for women.
Founded in 1893, the National Council of Women of Canada is an NGO (non-governmental organization) whose mission is to improve the quality of life for women, families, and society through a forum of member organizations and individuals. Their website details current and past initiatives, including correspondence to the federal government as well as reports and press releases on a variety of topics.
NOIVMWC is an umbrella national organization with a vision of creating equality for all women. It was created in 1986 with a focus on forming a united national voice to ensure equality for immigrant and visible minority women within bilingual Canada. NOIVMWC advocates for various issues affecting immigrant and visible minority women.
The Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies. As a national organization representing Aboriginal women since 1974, NWAC’s mandate is to achieve equality for all Aboriginal women in Canada. NWAC is actively involved with partner organizations across the globe towards this goal, including the United Nations and Amnesty International to end the discrimination against Indigenous women.
VAW Legal Information Resource was developed from a two year training project designed to increase access to justice for First Nation, Métis and Inuit women facing violence by providing VAW service provider staff with a better understanding of key concepts in relevant areas of law. The project, Building Service Capacity: Supporting Access to Justice for Aboriginal Women Dealing with Violence was funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario. It provided legal support training for women’s shelter and outreach service staff in 10 communities, where agencies were serving a high number of First Nation, Métis or Inuit women dealing with violence.
This resource guide by the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia provides readers with valuable tools to address the issue of safety in an easy to read format.(PDF - 50 pages, 2011)
This website is meant to make a traditionally complex area of knowledge easier to understand and more accessible. Many Albertan women will benefit from this resource, including those who are new to the English language, have no background in the law, those who cannot afford legal advice and those in remote communities without internet access. Although it is not meant to replace expert advice the resource is a starting place and a guide for women who don’t know where to look.