distressed womanimage illustrating 911 emergency calling

Technology and computers can be wonderful resources to communicate and gain information. Unfortunately, they can also be used as methods of control to track the communication, activities and whereabouts of the person being victimized. People who are being abused should be encouraged to use technology/computers in public or safe places. While erasing a computer history can offer some safety, a blank computer history can also arouse suspicion and does not eliminate other tracking methods. The same caution should be used with cell phones and leaving numbers for return phone calls.

Why is it important to prevent domestic violence?woman forefinger pointing to where to get help button

Domestic violence affects all of us. Everyone has heard of domestic violence in the news and most people know someone personally like a neighbour, co-worker, friend or family member who has or is experiencing domestic violence.

Abuse may affect health even if the abuse is not physical.

Pregnancy is a time when abuse may start or even get worse. Children who witness the abuse are affected.

It is important to remember that the person experiencing abuse is not to blame. Everyone has the right to live in peace and free of violence and we all have a role in preventing domestic violence.

Forms of abuse

Abuse can take many forms:

Abuse can include intimidation, harassment and stalking. It is not just physical and it may be actual or threatened.In some cases it only takes one act to create an ongoing sense of fear.

Forms of physical abuse include:

  • Hitting
  • Slapping
  • Kicking
  • Spitting
  • Pushing or punching and
  • May include torture or the use of a weapon

Forms of emotional abuse include verbal or non-verbal remarks or gestures:

  • Yelling
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Harassment
  • Abusive language
  • Violent acts to the home, property or pets
  • Being possessive
  • Threats to take the children away

A person may be abused economically or financially by the withholding of money, being unrealistically expected to do too much with too little money and then being criticized for failure to manage money, or being prevented from working.

Spiritual abuse may occur if practicing religious or spiritual beliefs are prevented or are used to manipulate.

Neglect may also be experienced if the person is deprived of basic needs and human rights with abusive actions such as withholding medical treatment or care.

Forms of Abuse - Power and Control Wheel

Do you know what to do?

If you are experiencing abuse it is important you protect your safety and the safety of your children. Develop a safety plan. Speak to someone you trust. There are many community organizations that are available to help you. In an emergency call the Police at 911.

Perhaps you know a co-worker, neighbour, friend or family member who is experiencing domestic violence? Most people want to help but do not know what to do. Call the police at 911 in an emergency. Talk to someone you trust. Reach out for information from community organizations that support people who are being abused and those that can help the person who is abusive. The Neighbours, Friends and Families is a provincial campaign to prevent woman abuse and contains valuable information for anyone who is being abused in an intimate relationship.

Website links

Public Health Agency of Canada - Prevention Resources

Children and Domestic Violence

Children Behaviours Associated with Domestic Violence