How the York Region Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee can help.
Am I being abused?
- Abuse comes in many forms and is not just physical or sexual assault
- Abuse is about power and control, one persons desire to control another person
- Abusers will use any available tools to achieve this control
- The abuse itself can be physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, verbal, sexual and/or financial
- It can occur during the relationship, during the break up of the relationship or after the relationship has ended.
- Not all abuse constitutes a criminal act
Abusive partners try to control every aspect of their partner’s life:
- What they are allowed to wear
- Who they are allowed to talk to
- What they are allowed to purchase
- Whether or not they are allowed to work
- The amount of contact with family and friends
- Parenting of the children
- Do you feel like any or all of these aspects of your life are being controlled by your intimate partner?
- Are you being threatened directly or are there threats directed at loved ones including your children or pets?
- Are you made to feel inadequate or incapable of handling tasks on your own?
- Do you have access to the family finances or does your partner use finances to control your lifestyle?
- Are you able to socialize freely with family and friends?
- Do you suffer from constant harassment from your partner?
- Are you free to practice in your spiritual beliefs or are your beliefs ridiculed?
- Does your partner follow you or frequently check the odometer on your vehicle?
- Are your phone calls monitored?
Are you being physically assaulted in any way?
- Pushed or shoved
- Slapped or punched
- Choked or held against your will
- Objects thrown at you
- Or even through acts or gesture
- Are you forced to have sex against your will? Are you forced to participate in degrading sexual activity?
- Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide if you do not comply with certain requests or demands?
Definitions of Being Abused
- Woman abuse is defined as physical, emotional, psychological, stalking/harassment, sexual, financial, and/or threats of such abuse directed at a female by a person known to her in an attempt to control her
- Control refers to an attempt on the abuser’s part to force a woman to comply with anything against her wishes
- Violence against women is perpetrated predominantly, but not exclusively, by males against females. There are, however, female perpetrators of violence
- Diverts blame for the laying of charges away from the victim and places it on the police and it stops the offender from feeling that he can get away with the abuse even if the police are called
- The ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services defines domestic violence occurrences as any use of physical or sexual force, actual or threatened, in an intimate relationship, including emotional/ psychological abuse or harassing behaviour.
- To charge your partner with domestic abuse the abuse must contravene the criminal code
- Not all domestic abuse will result in criminal charges it is necessary to recognize it for what it is and take the appropriate steps to end the abuse
- Many victims do not even recognize the abuse until it has escalated to the point where they are in serious danger, Recognizing the signs early can greatly increase the safety of abuse victims by taking action before this escalation occurs
How Do I get Help?
- Domestic violence/violence within intimate partnerships happens to all kinds of people, regardless of their social or economic status
- Rich or poor, young or old, Asian or North American, straight or gay, domestic violence/violence within intimate partnerships affects people from all walks of life
- Societal attitudes toward women and violence in general, feelings of low self-esteem, poor communication and self-control skills, and a tendency to blame others may all be factors that contribute to the abusers believing that he has the right to behave in this way.
- Domestic violence is a crime
- Safety Planning
- York Central Hospital is also home to the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Centre. This centre is able to provide support to victims of violence and more importantly, is able to document any injuries you may receive as a result of a domestic assault which may be useful at a later date in court proceedings against the abuser
- Abuse within a relationship can have an effect on your health and safety
- Experience shows that domestic violence usually increases over time without intervention. So getting some help as early as possible is recommended