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Si vous désirez obtenir des services en français, prière d’appeler la ligne FEM’AIDE au 1-877-336-2433.

The aim of Family Service Toronto’s Violence against Women (VAW) program is to promote non-violence and to work towards the eventual elimination of violence against women. The VAW Program assists women-identified people who have experienced abuse during the course of their lives. Abuse may have occurred in childhood, during a past relationship, or it may be an ongoing concern in a current relationship.

For up-to-date information on current workshops and groups, please visit the Workshops, Groups and Events page, Violence against Women section, or contact our Service Access Unit at 416.595.9618.

Our counselling services are available in English, Arabic, Azeri, Cantonese, Farsi, Mandarin, Spanish, and Tamil to women-identified people who live and/or work in Toronto. We provide counselling people who have been labelled with developmental or intellectual disabilities and have experienced abuse.

Counselling services provided on an individual basis are goal-directed and time limited.  You and your counsellor will work together to define a plan of service and will regularly check in on progress.

The VAW Program works from a feminist, intersectional, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed framework. Read the VAW Intersectional Feminist Statement for more information.

Contact information

For more information about the VAW program please contact:

  • Service Access Unit at 416-595-9618.
  • Dari-speaking and Arabic speaking counsellors
    Tel: 416-595-9618 
  • Tamil-speaking VAW counsellor
    Tel 416-755-5565 ext. 525
  • Farsi-speaking VAW Counsellor and Community Facilitator
    Tel: 416-586-9780 ext. 512


  • VAW individual and group counselling services in English, Arabic, Azeri, Cantonese, Farsi, Mandarin, Spanish, Tamil.
  • Partner Contact: telephone support to female partners of perpetrators of violence who are mandated by the courts to attend a Partner Assault Response program.
  • Transitional and Housing Support Program offers women (self-identified) who have made the decision to leave an abusive relationship practical support to assist their transition into their new home and community. This support can involve assistance with referrals to different supports (i.e., financial, legal, etc.), information regarding housing and support with housing applications, Ontario Works and ODSP among other applications.


  • Community-based groups and workshops, held in various communities and agencies across Toronto
  • Trainings for agency staff including front-line workers and managers/ supervisors
    Training for settlement workers, ESL workers, teachers, nurses and other service providers, who interface with women-identified people who may have or are currently experiencing abuse
  • Consultation Services
    One to one and/or group consultation services for professionals, who work with women, who have experienced abuse and violence, including women who have been labelled with intellectual disabilities.


Woman abuse is defined as the intent by a man to intimidate and control his female partner, either by threat or by physical force on her person, her children, her pets or her property. The purpose of abuse is to induce fear and gain control. Underlying all abuse is a power imbalance between offender and victim.

Are you in danger?

If you are in crisis now, please call one of the following lines:

If you are in danger now call 911.

Assaulted Women’s Helpline

Info & Resource Line:
211 – someone will direct you

How much do you know?

FST-VAW Early Warning Signs quiz is a simple way for girls and women of all ages and abilities to determine if they are in an unhealthy or dangerous relationship. The content of the questions were informed by women who were in abusive relationship and what they said they experienced with their partners. Read or take the Early Warning Signs quiz, or download/print Early Warning Signs brochure.

To learn more about abuse please read VAW – Issues you may be facing

Violence Against Women – Issues you may be facing

Community Agencies and Distress Centres

The following community agencies and supports are available for women who need support or who would like to talk to someone anonymously about their situation. For more agencies that provide support, please go to 211Toronto or call the helplines listed below.

Police and Ambulance

Call 911
For non-emergency police matters call 416-808-2222

Assaulted Women’s Helpline

Tel: 416-863-0511; TTY 416-364-8762
Hours: Monday – Sunday 24 hours: Service is provided in over 154 languages

Distress Centres 24 hours

Tel: 416-408-4357
Hours: Monday Sunday 24 Hours

Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape

Tel: 416-597-8808; TTY 416-597-1214
Hours: Crisis Line Monday-Sunday 24 hours

Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

Offers legal representation and professional counselling to women who have experienced violence.
Tel: 416-323-9149

Scarborough Women’s Centre

A women’s resource centre which provides information, education and support services to assist survivors of abuse.
Tel: 416-439-7111

YWCA Toronto

Provides an array of programs for women who are being abused, including a loan program, group programs, housing support and community events
Tel: 416-961-8100

Victim Services Program of Toronto

This agency provides crisis intervention, safety planning, and support immediately after an incident
Tel: 416-808-7066

Other on-line resources

Please use discretion when going to these sites; for your safety, make a plan to empty your browser.

Amnesty International: Activism revolving around putting a stop to violence against women around the world.

Canadian Domestic Violence and Abuse Agencies List: Global inventory of hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centres and women’s organizations

Dawn Ontario: Disabled Women’s Network Ontario

Health Canada: Violence Against Women: Information provided by Health Canada regarding Violence Against Women

Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women: Local community agency providing legal/safety information

Springtide Resources

The Canadian Women’s Foundation

White Ribbon Campaign: Men working to end men’s violence against women.

Woman Abuse Council of Toronto

Programs and Services

Programmes en Français
Appointments and Frequently Asked Questions
Campaign 2000
Caring for Caregivers
Families in Transition
Growing Up Healthy Downtown
Healthy Families. Healthy Communities
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Options – Adults
Options – Children
Partner Assault Response
Partner Contact
Pat’s Place
Person Directed Planning
Seniors and Caregivers
Seniors Community Connections
Social Action
Transitional and Housing Support
Violence Against Women
Single Session Walk-In Counselling