Does your partner
- Insult you, put you down or call you names?
- Control where you go, what you wear, who you socialize with?
- Accuse you of cheating, constantly jealous?
- Pressure you or force you to have sex?
- Control all the money, check your bills to make sure how much you spent?
- Forbid you from seeing your family and your friends?
- Hurt your pets or break precious belongings to hurt you?
- Threaten to have you deported?
- Punch holes in the walls and say you will be next, push you, shove you, hit you? Threaten to kill himself if you ever left him?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are being abused.
Abuse hurts even if the damage is not physical. It can make you feel worthless. And, it can make you feel constantly afraid. You may feel like you are “walking on eggshells” because you never know when his next explosion will be.
Need to talk to someone safe? Call us any time at 905-684-8331.
Types of abuse
There are many more forms of abuse than just physical abuse which we sometimes see in news headlines. Abuse is anything your partner does that makes you feel worthless and afraid.
Abuse is not just physical. Insults, threats and controlling who you are allowed to talk to and see are every bit as damaging as physical violence and needs to be taken seriously. It can be difficult to accept that you are being abused; it is difficult to understand why the person that you loved enough to share your life with would willingly hurt you.
Living with abuse is a reality for so many women in our society regardless of their age, religion, culture, income level or status. Recognizing the abuse is the first step to living a healthy life without violence, it is possible.
The reality about abuse or domestic violence is that it is your partner trying to gain control over you, it is something that may occur once but usually happens over and over again and often gets worse with time. The abuse may take on many forms such as: hitting, shoving, and calling you names, controlling all the money, not letting you practice your religion or stalking and harassing you. He may force you to have sex or watch pornography when you do not want to. You may feel that you are “walking on eggshells” living in fear of the next violent outburst.
Here are some examples of the various types of abuse:
Emotional — Hurting with words through name-calling and put-downs; for example, insults relating to your intelligence; appearance; your ability with work, family, cooking, calling you stupid, facial expressions and gestures that humiliate etc.
Psychological — Could include threatening you, your children or your pets; forcing use of psychiatric medication; forcing or stopping you from practicing your religion; damaging property (e.g., punching walls, tampering with your car, throwing things across the room)
Financial — Limiting your financial freedoms or damaging your financial security or peace of mind; for example, refusing access to money or credit, forbidding shopping, ruining your reputation or credit rating, stealing your money
Sexual — Forcing involvement in any undesired sexual act or making “loaded” comments relating to sexuality; for example, inferring that you must be having an affair if you don’t want to have sex or pressuring you to have sex by saying, “If you loved me you would….”
Physical — injuring you or your children (e.g., pushing, slapping, cornering, restraining, hitting or worse)
Each type of abuse is cruel, killing the soul if not the body of the person being abused. Each type of abuse must stop if we want our families and communities to be healthy and strong.
If you need help dealing with any type of abuse, call us day or night at 905-684-8331. We’ll be glad to listen, help you identify options and discuss steps you might want to take.
Are you in danger?
We know that leaving a relationship can be a very, very hard decision, but we also know that he abuses you because he wants to have power over you, to control you. Many women stay because they hope the abuse will end, it won’t. In fact, unless the cycle of abuse is broken, the violence is likely to happen more often and get worse.
We also know there are warning signs that often signal significant danger. Read through the warning signs below. If you feel that several of these signs apply in your situation, please call us and talk to us at 905-684-8331. We are very concerned about your safety and the safety of your children.
- Have you just recently separated and/or have a new relationship in your life?
- Has your partner threatened to commit suicide if you leave?
- Has your partner ever threatened you with a weapon or threatened to kill you?
- Has the violence gotten much worse recently?
- Do you have a restraining order or a supervised access order and your partner does not respect or obey these orders?
- Has your partner recently lost his job, or is suffering from depression?
- If you are separated, does your partner continue to harass you, try to contact you, show up unexpectedly at work, at home or where you are in the community?
- Has your partner tried to choke you?
- Has your partner assaulted you while you were pregnant?
- Is your partner extremely jealous?
- Does your partner have access to or possess firearms
- Do you fear that your partner will kill you
Are you living in fear? Need to talk to someone safe? Call us any time of day or night at 905-684-8331.
Myths about abuse
The more you understand about abuse, the stronger you’ll be in fighting it. This section is designed to help you understand what is myth about abuse and what is reality.
Myth: Men rarely assault their wives.
Reality: Wife assault is more common than you might think. One in four Canadian women have experienced some form of abuse in their lifetime.
Myth: Most abused women are young and poor.
Reality: Abuse occurs among women of all ages and income levels. Similarly, abuse occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups.
Myth: Women often provoke their partners to violence.
Reality: Domestic violence stems from the abuser’s desire for power and control. Even something very minor, such as buttering toast the wrong way, can trigger an abuser’s fury. An abuser who says, “She made me do it,” is avoiding responsibility for his actions.
Myth: Maybe you tell yourself the hurtful behavior would stop if only he would stop drinking or start taking his medication.
Reality: The true cause of abuse is the abuser’s desire to control another human being. An abuser who blames alcohol and drugs is shirking responsibility for the harm he has caused.
Myth: The children are not impacted because they are asleep when the abuse takes place.
Reality: Children see and hear much more than we think. They are aware of the violence and the tension. Living with the fear and violence can change who they are forever.
Myth: Men who assault their partners are mentally ill or it is just anger gone out of control.
Reality: Woman abuse is not just anger out of control, the abuse is very controlled. An abuser doesn’t scream and yell or lash out at a waitress, or their boss or the neighbor. The abuse is targeted directly towards their wife or partner. Often when neighbours are interviewed after a murder/suicide they comment on what a nice guy he was. Mentally ill people would not be able to practice selective violence of this kind.
Myth: Men are just as likely as women to be victims of domestic assault.
Reality: More than 90 percent of charges involving domestic assault in Ontario are laid against men.
The facts about abuse are sobering but remember, you don’t need to be one of the statistics. Many women have overcome abuse — and with awareness, courage and support, you can too. Call us at 905-684-8331 for a listening ear and help in moving from fear to freedom.
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There is hope. There is help. There is a future.