If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or your local police emergency number. A number of resources are ready to help you.
Abuse is behaviour used to intimidate, isolate, dominate or control another person. It may be a pattern of behaviour or it may be a single incident. Abusive behaviour might involve acts or words or even neglect.
Abuse happens when someone hurts or mistreats you.
Abuse can happen to anyone: someone in a family or someone in a dating relationship, a spouse or former spouse, a partner in an intimate relationship or former partner, a child, young person, or older person.
The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial. You may experience more than one type of abuse.
Examples of physical abuse are:
- stabbing or cutting
These types of physical abuse are examples of assault.
Talking about abuse can be difficult. You might feel ashamed or afraid that your family and friends will not believe you. Some people may even try to convince you that what is happening is normal in a relationship, or they may be threatening you to keep quiet. You may be afraid of being rejected by your community if you leave. But remember—nothing you do gives anyone the right to abuse you. There is no excuse for abuse.
Many people have found that there is a cycle of abuse. The tension builds for a while until the person acts violently. After the “explosion” or violence, there is a period of calm or quiet. The person who behaved abusively may say they are sorry and promise it will not happen again. However, in time, the tension builds and the person may become violent again.
Others describe an ever-increasing spiral of abuse where the severity of the violence becomes worse over time and the violent outbursts occur more and more often.
- Victim Services assist with locating services for victims of crime across Canada. Visit the website to find the office closest to you. They can assist you in creating safety plans and connect you with legal aid, social workers and counselling.
- Family doctors and public health nurses can give you advice on what to do if you are being abused, and help you with your physical and psychological injuries or refer you to someone who can.
- Crisis Line is staffed 24/7 and will help you immediately in locating shelters, victim services, counselling and many more resources. Call if you are thinking of leaving an abusive relationship.
British Columbia: 1-800-784-2433.