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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence happens in all walks of life. It usually affects women, but men can also experience domestic violence. Domestic violence happens within the boundaries of the household. Violence and abuse are types of behavior that aim to establish power and control.

Partner violence – whether in a marriage, common-law, or two people in a relationship – may happen just once, it may occur on a frequent basis, or it may happen sporadically. Abuse is never acceptable, no matter what type of violence one may experience or when they experience it. Blame should never be placed on any victim of violence.

One thing to remember is that if domestic violence happens in your relationship, your family, or your neighbourhood, there are ways to be proactive and to help prevent this is by learning about what domestic violence looks like. This will make you better equipped to effectively address issues in your community and help any victim.

Some Indicators of Domestic Violence:

• Deliberate social isolation

• Withholding technological devices (e.g. cell phones)

• Controlling access to family and friends

• Threating self-harm or suicide should one leave relationship

• Preventing engagement in hobbies

How to tell if you are in an abusive relationship

If you are in a relationship where your spouse, partner, or significant other hurts you physically, emotionally, sexually, or psychologically, and you feel unsafe, that you cannot speak and are isolated, then you are in an abusive and unhealthy relationship.

The first step is to recognize the situation you are in as being abusive, and to also recognize that you are not alone and help is out there for you. There will always be help for you, but it will require that you leave the abusive relationship if you or your child(ren) are in danger.

If you feel as though you need to tip-toe around your partner, as though you need to watch even the most basic of actions to ensure they are perfect, then you are in an abuse relationship.

If you don’t feel physically safe, if you fear physical contact due to a fear of being hurt, or if you have been yelled at or threatened in anyway, and if you fear speaking up in case something worse happens, know that this is an unhealthy abusive relationship.

If you are being accused of being unfaithful or a bad partner, or you are told how to act, what to wear and what to do, then these are all signs of an abusive relationship.

If you are given an allowance, or withheld from money, or if you are asked to constantly explain how you spend your money or are limited and controlled financially, then these also are signs of an abusive relationship.

If you have been forced to give sexual favours and do sexual acts that you feel uncomfortable with or experience pain during these acts then these too are signs of an unhealthy relationship that you need to end.



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