To close this web page quickly press Alt+F4 or Cmd+Q (Mac). Learn how to remove evidence of your visit to this page.
Talking to someone who is experiencing abuse, may be the help they need. It may help to talk to them just once or twice, or it may be doing it over and over and over again. Small, frequent and meaningful actions are effective. It’s important to understand that stepping in doesn’t have to be a drastic intervention. One in three Canadian women has experienced abuse at some point in their life. Addressing Intimate Partner Violence is everyone’s responsibility and friends, family members and coworkers all play an integral role in sharing that responsibility.
IPV affects people of all ages, abilities and all ethnic, racial, religious, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, and occurs in all types of relationships. While all genders can be perpetrators and/or victims of intimate partner violence, statistics and research indicate that the majority of incidents are perpetrated by men against women.
An intimate partner is a person with whom one has a close personal relationship that can be characterized by the following:
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Intimate Partner Violence Definitions, 2017
The causes of abuse are power and control. It is about one or multiple people intentionally exerting power over someone through tactics such as intimidation,emotional abuse, financial manipulation, physical abuse, verbal abuse (including threats), isolation, sexual violence, spiritual violence, or using pets or children to manipulate the individual.
The consequences of abuse vary. Some include:
Gender-based violence (GBV) involves the use and abuse of power and control over another person and is perpetrated against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. Violence against women and girls is one form of gender-based violence. It also has a disproportionate impact on LGBTQQI2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and two-spirit) and gender nonconforming people. (Status of Women Canada, 2017)
While statistics show that the majority of survivors of intimate partner violence are women, men can also experience abuse within intimate relationships, including gay, bi, or straight relationships. The focus of this campaign is to support anyone experiencing abuse.
Conflict is a normal aspect of relationships, abusive behaviour is not. You may be unsure if your friend or relative is experiencing ‘abuse’. You may have some sense that something is ‘wrong’ in their relationship. Sometimes there may be signs that indicate there is abuse, but often there will be nothing obvious. A good place to start can be to ask the person how they are, or finding a way to let them know you are concerned.
While we often think of abuse as physical, it can also be emotional, psychological, spiritual or financial. This type of abuse leaves no marks or scars but can cause victims to become isolated and experience fear on a daily basis. Sometimes, abuse within a relationship may start with controlling behaviour and then later become physical.
Here are some examples of non-physical abuse:
There are many barriers to leaving an abusive relationship, depending on the individual. Some common immediate concerns include: where they will live, how they will afford to eat, where their children will go to school, fear of making the abuse worse.
According to Justice Canada, every six days a woman is killed for attempting to leave an abusive relationship. On average, it takes about seven attempts before a woman is able to leave an abusive situation completely.
By talking to someone you think might be experiencing abuse, you may be the help they need to know that they have support.
It is normal to feel as though you may make it worse. The goal is not to put yourself or the person experiencing abuse at risk. Many survivors of abuse say that helpful intervening can include:
Intimate partner violence can have an impact on children. The law says that anyone who thinks that a child is being harmed, or is at risk of being harmed, must report it to a Children’s Aid Society (CAS). If a person is attempting to flee an abusive situation with their children, you can support them by connecting them with a local family shelter.
The resources include a list of organizations/agencies that can support someone through the process of fleeing abuse with children.
The #MeToo movement is about raising awareness about sexual violence in the workplace, specifically in relation to actual incidents that have occurred. Sexual assault movements focus on intimate partner violence but they can also focus on sexual harassment and other issues that exist in relation to sexual assault. This campaign focuses specifically on intimate partner violence and how someone close to the person experiencing it can offer support.