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What is Abuse?


Physical abuse is the most widely recognized and commonly understood form of abuse in the Somali community. Physical abuse occurs in a variety of forms that can result in serious injury, and could even lead to death. Some of the signs of physical abuse are:

  • Hitting, biting, slapping
  • Cutting, choking, grabbing
  • Pinching, shoving, strangling
  • Scratching, spanking, shaking
  • Kicking, restraining, punching
  • Pushing, pulling
  • Deliberate misuse of medication (not using it for its intended purpose)
  • Assault with weapon or object like using a knife to stab
  • Hair pulling/ripping hair from root
  • Forcibly shaving young women’s hair for punishment
  • Using hot sauce to burn sensitive areas of the skin and body (putting on tongue)
  • Burning skin using wood sticks or cigarettes
  • Using belt or wires to strike person
  • Using wires to restrain individual/shackle individual
  • Twisting ears, hands, fingers for punishment
  • Throwing objects at a person
  • Lack of proper clothing (e.g. no winter jacket during winter)

Ontario Women’s Network is strongly opposed to all forms of violence, and is dedicated to ending the cycle of violence.



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