Domestic Violence - What...?
Domestic violence may consist of threats, punches or sexual
force. The abuse can range from verbal harassment to stabbing and shooting.
Domestic violence is a serious matter. It HAS often ended in death or
permanent physical injury.
Perhaps you are one of the many women looking for a way out. Or perhaps
you grew up in an abusive home. Or just the idea of any person being
physically harmed by someone who claims to 'love' her infuriates you.
For any of these reasons, you want to make it -domestic violence- stop.
Each year 1 million women suffer nonfatal violence
by an intimate
4 million American women experience a serious assault
by an intimate partner during an average 12-month period.
Nearly 1 in 3 adult women experience at least one
physical assault by a partner during adulthood.
Most of the victims of domestic violence does not open
their heart and talk about the problems they have in their homes, or
try to find solutions BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
I hope these pages will help you to find your solution and help you
and your children to survive from violent situations which may happen.
Also I hope you will tell me your story and give me the possibility
of publishing it in my pages. "Together we can stop the cycle of
What is domestic abuse?
There are many forms of domestic abuse, ranging from screaming
threats to pushing and shoving. Contrary to what many women think, abuse
isn't just physical battering.
Domestic abuse may include emotional abuse, economic abuse,
sexual abuse, using children, threats, using male privilege, intimidation,
isolation and a variety of other behaviors used to maintain fear, intimidation
and power. In all cultures, the perpetrators are most commonly the men
of the family.
Nearly one in three adult women experiences at least one
physical assault by a partner during adulthood, according to the American
Psychological Association in a 1996 report.
Domestic abuse does not discriminate against race, age
and socioeconomic background. No specific type of woman is more prone
to being battered by her partner, nor is one type of woman completely
safe from abuse
What Victims of Domestic Violence Need to Know
The abuse is not your fault
You don't deserve to be abused
You can't change someone who is abusive
Staying in the relationship won't stop the abuse
With time the abuse always gets worse
If you stay, make a plan to keep yourself safe when
the abuse happens again
You CAN Fight Back!
Signs of Domestic Abuse
Acts of domestic violence generally fall into one or more
of these categories:
Physical battering -- The abuser's physical attacks
or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder.
Sexual abuse -- Physical attack by the abuser is often
accompanied by or culminates in, sexual violence.
Psychological battering -- The abuser's psychological
or mental violence can include constant verbal abuse, harassment,
excessive possessiveness, isolating the woman from friends and family,
and depriving her of food, money, clothes, and destroying her personal
If you have been assaulted, you can report it to the
The Criminal Code says that assault is a criminal offence.
The Code describes three types of assault and sets maximum penalties
(called sentences) for each type. The three types of assault are:
Simple assault (most common assault). Examples are
slapping, pushing or shoving, punching or threatening that he or
she will harm you or your children.
Assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm. Examples
are an assault where you are beaten with a baseball bat or an assault
where you get a black eye or broken bones.
Aggravated assault is an assault where your life is
endangered or you are wounded, maimed or disfigured. Examples are
where the offender threatens to kill you or where your injuries
from the assault leave you with a limp or scars.
Warning signs of an Abusive Relationship
Are you frightened of your partner's temper?
Are you often compliant because you are afraid to
hurt your partner's feelings or are afraid of your partner's anger?
Do you have the urge to "rescue" your partner
when your partner is in trouble?
Do you find yourself apologizing to others for your
partner's behavior when you are treated badly?
Have you been hit, kicked, shoved, or had things thrown
at you by your partner when he was jealous or angry?
Do you make decisions about activities and friends
according to what your partner wants or how your partner will react?
Do you drink or use drugs to dull the pain or join
your partner so he won't get mad?
Do you consent easily to your partner to avoid angering
What are some of the warning signs?
He is extremely jealous.
Wants to know where you are at all times.
Gets upset if you spend time with friends or family.
Holds rigid expectations of male/female or adult/child
He expects you to meet his emotional needs.
Blames others and you for his problems.
Threatens you with violence.
There may be many other warning signs; you can phone
the nearest Woman's Shelter for further information.
Do something before it's too late!
In your contact with any family member, the following
observations should be considered clues to the possibility of wife assault.
A history of wife assault or child abuse in his family
A suspicion of child abuse or sexual abuse in his
role as a father.
Abuse of drugs or alcohol.
A history of suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
Such characteristics as:
What do we know about abusers?
They try to isolate victims from family and friends
They minimize and deny their behavior
They veil power and control over others
They blame victims
They distrust others
They often have been victims or witnessed abuse
They usually have low self-esteem
They are not in touch with their own feelings
Preparing to Leave
Keep evidence of abuse (i.e., pictures, police reports,
etc.) in a safe place that is accessible to you.
Know where you can go to get help; tell someone you
trust what is happening to you.
If you are injured, go to a doctor or emergency room
and report what happened to you.
Make sure that they record your visit.
Make sure that your children know that it is their
job to stay safe, not protect you.
Keep a journal of all violent incidences.
Start an individual savings account and have statements
sent to a trusted friend. Acquire job skills.
If you must sneak away, leave extra money, extra car
keys, important papers, and extra set of clothes for yourself and
children with a trusted friend (avoid family members and mutual
friends who may be influenced by the abuser). Include a list of
important numbers (insurance numbers, driver's license, medication,
checkbook, credit card numbers, etc.)
Practice effective Self Defense Tricks... just in
What to do when leaving an abusive relationship?
If you are contemplating leaving an abusive relationship, there are
some things you should do that may assist you in the process of leaving:
Make a safety plan
Write down Contact Places in the community for support
Assess your safety and that of your children
Contact a shelter for a safe place to stay
Seek interim custody
Seek a support system from family, friends and advocates
Be prepared, it helps you in a case of emergency.
Make an Escape Plan
Make sure you have important documents
Save money in secret when you can
Keep extra keys and clothes with friends
Plan out all possible escape routes - doors, first
floor windows, elevators, stairwells and rehearse escape routes
with your children
Arrange a safe place to go such as a friend or relative
who will offer unconditional support - or a motel, hotel, or shelter
Memorize the telephone number of a domestic violence
shelter or call 911
Work out a signal system with a friend or other family
members so that they know you are in danger
Go when he is gone
Don't tell him you are leaving
Create an excuse to slip away
Avoid arguments in areas with potential weapons such
as the kitchen, garage, or in small spaces without escape routes.
When leaving your home, be aware. Your spouse may
try to hurt you to stop you escaping.
Start to learn self defense techniques immediately!
What can you do if you have been abused?
You can, and you should talk to someone about the
You can tell a family member, a friend, or your doctor
You can also talk to a support group in your community.
Women's centres and legal aid offices may be able to tell you of
other services which offer help.
You can get medical help
If you have been hurt you can go to your doctor or
to the Emergency Department at a hospital.
If your injuries are visible you can have pictures
taken. They can be used in court should you decide to lay assault
There are special medical and police procedures for
sexual assault cases.
For more information, check the Sexual Assault Department
and the law in your country.
You can apply for a peace bond (in the countries
where this system exist)
A peace bond or 'recognizance' is a paper signed by a
person (such as a spouse) promising to keep the peace and be of good
behavior. The peace bond may have other conditions such as requiring
the person to stay away from your home or place of work. A peace bond
may last for up to one year. The judge decides how long it will last.
You have to go to court to get a peace bond. You do not have to be assaulted
to apply nor do you have to lay assault charges. You do have to convince
the judge that you have a reasonable fear of the offender. The offender
will also be in court.
Finding a Place To Go
When an assault occurs you should attempt to protect yourself.
One way you might do this is to leave the home. If you don't have a
friend or family member with whom you can safely stay, and cannot afford
a motel, there are shelters in your country which will accommodate you
in an emergency. The RCMP or the police, if requested, will escort you
out of the family home to any safe place you specify.
If there are no shelters for you in the vicinity, the Salvation Army
may be able to provide temporary assistance. It might also be worthwhile
to check with the local Crisis Line or Help Line which may be able to
provide a list of the organizations that can help during a crisis.
National Domestic Violence/Abuse Hotline
TDD 24-hour-a-day hotline staffed by trained counselors
ready to provide immediate crisis intervention assistance to those in
need. Callers can be connected directly to help in their communities,
including emergency services and shelters as well as receive information
and referrals, counseling and assistance in reporting abuse.
This is a vital lifeline to anyone - man, woman or child
- who is a survivor of domestic violence, or who suspects that someone
they know may be the victim of abuse. Calls to the hotline are confidential,
and callers may remain anonymous if they wish.
"Cut the cycle of silence"
"If I can survive, so can you."
"Be Aware and be prepared"
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