Luke’s Place

Luke’s Place works to improve the safety and experience of abused women in Durham Region who are or may become involved with the family law system.

Drawing from our direct service with the diverse rural and urban populations of Durham, Luke’s Place also provides training and resources on family court advocacy to service providers throughout Ontario. This includes:

  • customized in-person legal trainings
  • training of Ontario’s Family Court Support Workers
  • online trainings and webinars
  • FAQs about common family law issues
  • manuals on various family law processes
  • research on the intersection of family law and violence against women in Ontario

Luke’s Place envisions a family court system that promotes healthy, safe families.

Luke’s Place also provides a listing of Family Law Support Services for abused women in Ontario on their website at:

Resources produced by Luke’s Place

Webinars produced by Luke’s Place

Supporting an Abused Woman to Bring an Emergency Motion

Recorded on February 27, 2014 - Emergency motions are a family court process that allows the parties to obtain a short-term order quickly in certain serious circumstances. Very often, the need for such a motion arises at the beginning of a case, before either party has engaged a lawyer.

Supporting Rural Women Leaving Abusive Relationships - A webinar from Luke's Place and CLEO

June 3, 2020 - Women leaving abusive relationships often need family court orders quickly to protect their safety and that of their children, to have their children returned to them and/or to prevent abduction of their children by their abusive former partner. Emergency or ex parte motions are one way to get an order quickly, but bringing a successful one is difficult.

Restraining Orders

January 28, 2020 12:00 E.S.T. - Family violence continues and often escalates post-separation. This webinar explores post-separation abuse and strategies for managing it. Topics covered include: what a restraining order is and how to apply for one, the importance of a safety plan and safety planning for family court.

Explaining the New Divorce Act

Recorded on August 27, 2019 - Earlier this year, the federal government passed major amendments to the Divorce Act. This webinar explores those changes, especially as they relate to how arrangements for the children will be made, in the context of family violence.

Presenting Evidence in a Family Court Case involving Violence

December 17, 2019 - If family violence is to be considered by a mediator or judge, clear evidence of it must be presented. This webinar discusses the standard of proof in family court, what evidence is useful and how to present it in an effective way.

Intersections between Family Law & Other Legal Issues - When there is Violence in a Family

February 25, 2020 - Many women who leave abusive relationships are dealing with multiple legal issues, each of which has an impact on the other(s). This webinar looks at the intersections among three common legal systems: family, criminal and immigration.

International abductions

March 25, 2020 - We live in an increasingly global community. As a result, families both pre- and post-separation, relocate more frequently. This webinar takes a look at the issue of international abduction of children in the context of family violence, with a focus on steps a woman can take to pre-empt an international abduction as well as what she can do if her children are abducted.

Supporting women with family violence and family law issues during COVID-19

April 28, 2020 - Women living in rural and remote communities face unique challenges when they decide to leave an abusive relationship, including distance, lack of services, isolation and limited access to lawyers. This webinar presents tips and strategies for supporting women who are facing these and other barriers, with a focus on women’s emotional and physical safety.

Collecting Evidence: A webinar from Luke's Place and CLEO

November 26, 2019 - Evidence about family violence can be challenging to find: often, there are few witnesses, and many women don’t report the abuse to anyone. This webinar provides practical suggestions for how women can collect evidence of the abuse to which they have been subjected as well as tips for frontline workers who are assisting women with this task.


October 8, 2019 - Family court can be an overwhelming experience for anyone, but especially for women with children who are leaving an abusive relationship. This webinar introduces Family Court and Beyond, a workbook, organizer and website developed by Luke’s Place to assist women on this journey.

Best Interests of the Child test

October 29, 2019 - In Canada, all decisions about post-separation arrangements for children are made using the best interests of the child test. Both Ontario’s Children’s Law Reform Act and the federal Divorce Act set out the criteria judges are to use when applying the test.