2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 3: Access to Service

The organization ensures the accessibility of its services to survivors who need help planning for and achieving physical, emotional, and psychological safety and well-being.




Individuals who receive Domestic Violence Services gain a sense of empowerment, improve their well-being, and increase their ability to live safely and independently.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Outreach strategies and informational materials
  • 24-hour staff coverage schedule for past six months (or evidence of collaboration with a community telephone network or emergency response centre)
  • List of community organizations with which the organization collaborates
  • Documentation of collaboration efforts
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors


CA-DV 3.01

To ensure that survivors are aware of and can access available services, the organization provides information and education throughout the community.
Examples: Appropriate outreach can include posters, pamphlets, public service announcements, and direct contact with those who may interact with the target population. Community providers likely to encounter survivors include law enforcement and legal services; child protective services; medical and health care providers; mental health care providers; substance abuse service providers; and public assistance offices.

Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 3.02

The organization provides 24-hour access to services either:
  1. directly (e.g., through a 24-hour hotline or cell phones); or
  2. through a community telephone network or emergency response centre.


A community telephone network or emergency response centre must: 
  1. employ trained individuals; 
  2. return calls within a 15-minute timeframe; and 
  3. have procedures that address how phone calls are returned without increasing risk to survivors.


CA-DV 3.03

The organization works with community partners and resources to address and minimize barriers that may prevent individuals from seeking or obtaining services.
Examples: Factors that may impact whether survivors will seek or obtain services may include, but are not limited to: disabilities, mental health conditions, substance use conditions, cultural differences, lack of English proficiency, immigration status, age, sexual orientation, and having teenage male children.