What is domestic violence?

You may be a victim of abuse, know of someone who you suspect is being abused, or be looking for help with your own abusive behaviour. What you will find in these pages are resources, tools and information to help you deal with violence and abuse in intimate partner relationships.
Click here to see the resources available in your area.

The Many Faces of Domestic Violence

When people think of domestic violence, they usually think of the battered woman. What many people don’t realize is that not all abuse leaves bruises and is not confined to heterosexual relationships. If you are you being abused or suspect you know someone who is, consider the following:

Economic or financial abuse includes:

  • Controlling of your finances.
  • Withholding money or credit cards.
  • Making you account for every penny you spend.
  • Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).
  • Restricting you to an allowance.
  • Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
  • Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly)
  • Stealing from you or taking your money.

Emotional abuse includes

  • Verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, shaming, and blaming
  • Isolation
  • Threatening to out you or reveal your secrets
  • Intimidation and controlling behaviour
  • Stalking and harassment
  • Using the children against you

You may think physical abuse is worse than emotional abuse, but the scars of emotional abuse are very real and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so.

Physical abuse includes:

  • hitting
  • kicking
  • biting
  • pinching
  • slapping
  • punching
  • hair pulling
  • burning
  • forced sex
  • withholding medical attention
  • exposing you to harsh elements (for instance locking you out in the cold)

DV Resource Centre landing page