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


COVID-19 Update: FST is currently providing services remotely. For up-to-date information on current workshops and groups, please visit the Virtual Workshops and Groups.

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 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. Woman abuse spans a large range of possibilities and does not always end with a final incident of violence or abuse in a specific context. Even when the threat is gone, a woman who was victimized may spend years working through the effects of what she experienced. 

Our counselling services for women who have experienced any type of abuse, are available in English, Tamil, Somali, Urdu, Hindi, Farsi, Dari, Pashto, Arabic and Yoruba and to all women who live and/or work in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We  also provide counselling for women who have been labelled with developmental or intellectual disabilities and have experienced abuse.

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

If you are in an abusive same-sex relationship, you may want to visit our David Kelly Services page. If you are a senior experiencing abuse, please visit our Seniors and Caregivers Support Services page. 

For more information about the VAW program please contact:

  • Service Access Unit
    Tel: 416-595-9618 to arrange an appointment with a VAW counsellor or register for an in-house group program;
  • Dari-speaking counsellor
    Tel: 416-595-9618  for individual counselling and community-based programs for the Afghan community
  • Tamil-speaking VAW counsellor
    Tel 416-755-5565 ext. 525, for individual counselling and community-based programs for the Tamil community
  • Farsi-speaking VAW Counsellor and Community Facilitator
    Tel: 647 960 0351 for individual counselling and
    Tel: 416-586-9780 ext. 512 for community-based programs for the Iranian community
  • Arabic speaking counsellor
    Tel: 416-595-9618  for individual counselling and community-based programs for the Arabic speaking clients

Programs:

  • VAW individual counselling services
    Our counselling services are for women who have experienced any type of abuse and are available in English, Tamil, Somali, Urdu, Hindi, Farsi, Dari, Arabic and Pashto. We also provide counselling to women who have been labelled with a developmental or intellectual disability and have experienced abuse.
  • Groups
  • Partner Contact: We provide telephone support to female partners of perpetrators of violence who are mandated by the courts to attend a Partner Assault Response program.
  • Healthy Families, Healthy Communities: Groups and workshops for newcomers to Canada, presently provided in Farsi, Tamil, Somali, Pashto and Dari at various locations throughout Toronto.
  • Seniors Community Connections: A community-based, drop-in centre for seniors from the Tamil, Iranian, Somali, Afghan and Spanish-speaking communities.

Services:

  • In-house groups and workshops held at various locations across Toronto
  • Community-based groups and workshops for women, held in various communities and agencies across Toronto
  • Presentations to agency staff and community
  • Training seminars for frontline workers
    Training for settlement workers, ESL workers, teachers, nurses and other service providers, who interface with women who may have experienced 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.

If you are in danger now call 911.

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

Assaulted Women’s Helpline: 416-863-0511

Distress Centre Line: 416-408-4357

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

Please note that FST is offering services virtually and by phone, as offices remain closed to the public. The full list of FST workshops and groups offered at this time is available on the Virtual Workshops and Groups page.

For more information/registration call our Service Access Unit at: 415 595 9618

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

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