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Abuse – What is it?

What is Woman Abuse?

Abuse is defined as the use of physical, emotional, verbal and sexual behavior to control and maintain power over another human being. An abused woman is a victim of abuse by her partner who is jealous and controlling.

Who is the abuser?

  • A boyfriend
  • A common-law partner
  • An intimate partner

Have you or someone you know ever experienced the following?

  • Name-calling or put-downs
  • Isolation from family or friends
  • Withholding of money
  • Actual or threatened physical harm
  • Sexual assault

Support is available 24/7 to women 16 and over for information, advice or just a caring voice. Recovering from sexual assault might be the bravest thing you ever do. When you’re ready, we’re here to help.

  • We also provide resources for friends and family of survivors
  • Confidential support if you have been sexually assaulted recently or in the past
  • One to one counselling with a sexual assault counsellor
  • Support & accompaniment (when requested, we can go with you to the to the police, court, or hospital)
  • Information and referrals to other services
  • Access to survivor support groups
  • Information about:
    • sexual assault, incest and child sexual abuse
    • legal, medical, police and court procedures

Why Would a Woman Stay?

One of the biggest misconceptions and tragedies is society’s willingness to blame the victim. We must place responsibility for the crimes on the offenders and stop blaming the victims. “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” Well, there are lots reasons why women stay.

  • she loves the partner, not the violence
  • she made a commitment she feels she can’t break
  • she has nowhere else to go
  • she has no money, or fears the poverty that may result for her and her children if she leaves
  • relatives and in-laws want her to stay
  • she believes her partner can’t get along without her – he may have threatened suicide if she leaves
  • she wants her children to grow up with their father
  • he takes her confidence away so she doesn’t think she can make it on her own
  • she believes her partner will change
  • she is afraid or ashamed
  • he makes her feel guilty and tells her the abuse is her fault
  • she believes she deserves the abuse
  • she’s afraid for her own and her children’s lives

If You are Abused

  • Call the police
  • Tell your doctor, social worker, friend, neighbour or relative
  • Call your local shelter and get the information that you need to help yourself