Police AssociAtion of novA scotiA 107 Get Help In cases of abuse, where can I go for help? If you are in immediate danger or need urgent medical help: Contact the police or ambulance services, by calling 91-1 or the emergency number for your community. If you live in an area where 9-1-1 is not available, call the Operator by dialing 0, tell them it’s an emergency and ask them to connect you with the nearest police service. You can look for local emergency and crisis services in the first section of your phone book. If you are being abused, or are concerned that an adult or child is being abused, help is available. Child Protection Agencies investigate and intervene to ensure the safety and well-being of children who are vulnerable to abuse, neglect or exploitation. Although child welfare laws differ from one province and territory to another, they all make it clear that everyone has the duty to report known or suspected child maltreatment. Professionals who work with children and youth have an added responsibility to report. Known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child must be reported to local child welfare agencies, provincial/territorial social service ministries or departments, or local police. For further information or if you need to report, the Centres of Excellence for Children’s Well-Being website has a series of information sheets on provincial and territorial child welfare systems and a list of provincial and territorial child welfare contacts. Counselling services for victims and perpetrators of family violence are provided by many community agencies. You can search the Canadian Register for Health Service Providers in Psychology website, by specialization, for therapists throughout Canada. For children and youth, the Kids Help Phone offers free, bilingual, phone and web counselling 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence also offers a series of national directories which list various programs and services in communities across the country. Crisis lines/distress centres provide free and confidential support and referrals to a variety of services in your community. Telephone numbers for most crisis/distress centres are listed in the first few pages of your local telephone book. You can also access a list of crisis centres in Canada from here. Health clinics and hospitals provide emergency and longer-term services to help victims recover from physical and psychological trauma. Some hospitals have sexual assault and domestic violence care treatment centres located in their emergency department to provide care to women, children or men who have experienced domestic violence or have been sexually assaulted. Services may include: emergency medical and nursing care, crisis intervention, forensic evidence collection, medical follow-up, and counselling. Legal services are available to you if you need legal assistance in divorce or custody matters, or you need to obtain a restraining order. Ask your local shelter, community legal clinic, or community agency for the names of lawyers on their referral list with experience in the area of law that addresses your needs. Lawyer Referral Services can also help you find a lawyer in your community. If you cannot afford a lawyer, contact your local Legal Aid office to find out if you can get a legal aid certificate. The Canadian Bar Association website contains links to Lawyer Referral Services across Canada. To find your local Legal Aid office, refer to the blue pages of your local telephone book or consult the Justice Canada Legal Aid Program webpage. Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) organizations provide the Canadian public with the legal information they need to make informed decisions and participate effectively in the justice system. These organizations do not give "legal advice"; they provide information or referrals about various aspects of the law. PLEI organizations can be found in every province and territory in Canada. For more information on these organizations and their publications, visit the Justice Canada Public Legal Education and Information web page. Police can help by investigating offences and making arrests where appropriate. Police apply for peace bonds to protect you if you have good reason to believe that someone will harm you or your children. They can also help you leave or take you to a shelter, connect you to a local victim services program, and provide information about other agencies that may be able to help. If you want to contact the police but the situation is not urgent, call the non-emergency number for police in your community. Transition houses and shelters provide temporary, safe housing and services for those fleeing an abusive situation. To find a local transition house or shelter, look in the NCFV (directory) Transition Houses and Shelters for Abused Women in Canada or Programs and Services for Men Who Are or Have Been Victims of Violence. You can also visit Shelternet for a clickable map of shelters in Canada. For Aboriginal shelters in Canada, visit the National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence. Victim Services are delivered very differently across Canada depending on jurisdiction. Services for victims of crime can be delivered by police-based, system-based, court-based, and community-based victim services, volunteers, or by non-governmental organizations. For a description of the services offered by each province and territory, including links to provincial/territorial government Victim Services, visit the Department of Justice Policy Centre for Victim Issues and the Victims Services Directory. Public health agency of Canada