Diane's story: Do I need a protection order?
This 13-minute video is for people who live with an abusive partner, and want to leave. [July 2020]
How to get a protection order under COVID-19
If you’ve been in a marriage or a marriage-like relationship, you might be able to get a protection order under the Family Law Act to keep you safe from your abusive partner (or ex-partner).
If you're concerned about how you'll support yourself and your children on your own finances, you may be able to get help. If you have your children in your care more than 40 percent of the time, you can apply for child support. You may also be entitled to spousal support. If you get an order for child and/or spousal support, you can register your order with Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) and have them collect the payments for you. It's a free service. See our FMEP page for more information.
Before you apply for a protection order
- If you can't afford a lawyer, call legal aid to apply for a lawyer as soon as possible. You may be able to get a legal aid lawyer to help you apply for the protection order. 604-408-2172 (Greater Vancouver) 1-866-577-2525 (elsewhere in BC)
- Get help from a community support organization to assess your risk and help you make a safety plan. Contact VictimLinkBC for help.
- Get legal advice from a lawyer to work out if a protection order is the best choice for you. See Who to call and Where to go for where to find help.
If you’re applying for a protection order, then your matter relates to your or your children’s health and safety. The courts take this very seriously and will likely consider your matter urgent.
If you think you can notify the other person about your application for a protection order without risking your safety, send them your completed forms. MyLawBC's Make a Safety Plan pathway can help you assess your risk.
Call 911 or your local police emergency number if you're afraid for your safety. Don't wait.