Make an appointment to meet with a family law lawyer to review your rights and responsibilities before you leave your relationship. (You can get a two-hour free legal advice form from your local women’s shelter.)
If you have been sponsored to come to Canada by your partner, meet with an immigration lawyer to find out how leaving your partner will affect your immigration status. (You can get a two-hour free legal advice form from your local women’s shelter.)
If you think you might qualify, apply for a legal aid certificate.
If you have a safe place to keep it where your partner won’t find it, begin making a list of the history of abuse in your relationship.
If any court orders – family, criminal, immigration – are in place, either remove the originals or make photocopies and keep them in one of the safe places we have suggested.