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

Call for Participants for Stakeholder Consultations

In the very near future, the Government of Ontario will begin consultations to reform the Developmental Services sector.  Here at Family Service Toronto (FST), we believe it is very important that our service users are able to provide their thoughts and opinions on this reform so that FST can make the government aware of any issues or concerns.

Beginning early September, FST will be hosting Zoom consultation sessions and teleconferences with those with lived experience/expertise who access our Developmental Services Programs.  These services include, Options Children and Adult, Person Directed Planning and Passport programs.  Following the initial sessions, there will be ongoing opportunities to provide feedback and advice regarding future programming at FST.

To volunteer to become part of these discussions or to get more information, please call or email Charlene Challenger charlenech@familyservicetoronto.org or call 416-971-6326 extension 292, by Sept 11, 2020.

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. Underpinning all our violence against women work are the philosophies of feminism and of intersectionality and are implemented within an anti-oppressive, trauma and violence informed approach. Read VAW Intersectional Feminist Statement

The Violence Against Women (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”and a woman may have escaped abuse recently, last year, or a long time ago.

Our counselling services for women who have experienced any type of abuse, are available in English, Tamil, Somali, Urdu, Hindi, Farsi, Dari and Pashto and to all women who live and/or work in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

In the VAW program, although our primary focus is on the abuse women sustain from men with whom they are involved – or have been involved – in intimate relationship, we also provide services to women who have experienced abuse from other family members.  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.  And multiple experiences may trigger earlier effects, causing deep tendrils of pain to infiltrate what appears to be a well-functioning exterior.

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

We also provide counselling for women who have been labelled with developmental or intellectual disabilities. Please visit Women with Intellectual Disabilities page.

For more information, contact:

  • Service Access Unit
    Tel: 416-595-9618 to arrange an appointment with a VAW counsellor or register for an in-house group program;
  • Karen Crow (she/her), MSW
    Manager, Violence Against Women and Seniors and Caregivers Support Service Programs, to receive information on other VAW related services and programs
    Tel: 416-586-9780 ext. 272
  • 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
  • Somali-speaking Community Facilitator
    Tel: 416 585 2044 ext. 566 for community-based programs for the Somali community


  • 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
  • Women with Intellectual Disabilities
  • 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.


  • 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

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
Partner Assault Response
Partner Contact
Pat’s Place
Person Directed Planning
Queer and Connected
Seniors and Caregivers
Seniors Community Connections
Social Action
Violence Against Women
Walk-In Counselling