What begins with control and emotional abuse often becomes physical violence.
Violence is a serious abuse of power, trust or dependency within a relationship. It can take many different forms such as physical, verbal, mental, emotional, sexual and financial abuse and may include neglect, intimidation, destruction of property and pets.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, abuse is a Crime.
Signs of Abuse
Do you think you are being abused?
Does your partner:
- Hit, slap, kick, punch or push you around?
- Threaten to hurt you in other ways?
- Treat you like a possession, not a person?
- Force you to do things against your wishes?
- Constantly put you down?
- Constantly question your whereabouts?
- Force you to take part in sexual activity when you do not want to?
- Make threats about what will happen if you leave?
If any of this sounds familiar, you are in an abusive relationship. Without intervention this situation will likely intensify and worsen. Help is available. Call us at 1-877-800-2272.
Types of Abuse
Any behavior that is designed to control another through the use of fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, manipulation, and invalidation is emotional abuse. Often individuals affected by emotional abuse are left with the deepest, longest, and most lasting wounds.
Any act of violence on/against the victim is physical abuse. It is the most obvious, the most visible, and the most lethal form of violence, the extreme being death. Examples of include: slapping, kicking, choking, pulling hair, shoving, punching, beating, burning, restraint (any form), throwing objects, use of weapons, etc.
Psychological abuse ties in with Emotional Abuse. Psychological abuse is used by the abuser to wear the victim down, to undermine the victim’s self-concept, allowing over time for the victim to blame themselves. Psychological/Emotional abuse clears the path for Physical/Sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse is any sexual encounter without consent and includes any unwanted touching, forced sexual activity, forcing the victim to perform sexual acts, and exploitation through photography or prostitution.
Occurs when the abuser denies the victim access to funds or, making the victim responsible for all finances while the abuser irresponsibly handles money.
Other examples of financial abuse include: prevention of attaining employment or school, having to account for any and all spent money, placing all bills in the victim’s name, denying purchases of personal hygiene products, etc.
Destruction of Property
Destruction of property occurs when someone destroys your personal belongings, your property, or pets. This is meant to instill fear, especially for your own personal safety. Many women have told us that when their partners destroy their property or hurt their pets, this a terrifying experience and that the message they receive is, "you’re next".
If you would like more information of the types of abuse or to more clearly understand what is happening in your relationship, the provincial government has further information available at the following locations: www.gov.nl.ca/VPI/types/index.html and http://www.respectwomen.ca/formsofviolence.html
You may have just read about the types of abuse and discovered that you are in an abusive relationship. You are not alone and you are not to blame. You cannot control this violence. We can help. Call us at 1-877-800-2272.
If you are not ready to make that call, there are other ways you can keep yourself safe:
- Call the police if you have been assaulted (#'s in front pages of phone book).
- Call a friend or family member you trust.
- Decide what is best for you. Set your own limits, stick to them and feel good about taking charge of your life.
- Tell someone and keep a record of all incidents for evidence.
- Write down the details for yourself as soon as possible after the assault. Keep it in a safe place where your partner won't find it.
- Develop a safety plan. Memorize emergency numbers (#'s in front pages of phone book). Keep spare house and car keys handy. Know where you can stay in an emergency.
- Consider ending the relationship as soon as possible. Without intervention, the violence will increase in frequency and severity as time passes.
The first step is often the hardest. If nothing is done, the abuse will not stop. Help is available. Recognize that no one has the right to control you and that it is everyone's human right to live without fear. You can find more details about creating your own emergency plan at www.hopehaven.ca/resources-and-links/emergency-plan/
It is never too soon or too late to find out what laws and agencies offer protection and help for you and your children.
You can get legal information from a legal information service or women's shelter in your area. Cara Transition House has information on: