About Abuse and Violence

Just the Facts

What are the definitions of abuse?

Woman abuse happens when your partner mistreats you. It takes many forms and as many names: battered women, spousal abuse, wife abuse.

Physical abuse

Is any aggressive behavior directed at another’s body, such as pushing, pinching, squeezing, shaking, grabbing, biting, slapping, punching, kicking, choking, etc. It also includes throwing objects or using a weapon. Obviously, such conduct will often result in serious injuries, but many women are subjected to varying degrees of physical abuse without suffering physical injury that is visible to the eye.

Sexual abuse

Is forced participation in any type of sexual activity. No one, not even a partner, has the right to force a woman to participate in sexual activity if she doesn’t want to. If force or threats of force are used to gain the woman’s compliance, the partner can be charged with sexual assault.

Psychological and verbal abuse

Is the infliction of emotional pain and suffering by doing things to control or degrade, such as persistent verbal attacks on self-esteem, repeated accusations of infidelity, threats of suicide, control over friends and money and threats of harm to others.

Forced confinement

Is when someone does not allow another person out of, for example, a house, room, bed or chair for extended periods of time.

Abuse towards pets or property

Is the destruction of property or animals with the explicit or implicit threat that “she is next.”

Financial abuse

Means having no access to the family’s money. The woman may live in a comfortable house, wear good clothing, have children who are well-equipped with toys and luxuries, but have no control over what is spent or saved, over what moneys come into the family, over any decisions about what will be bought. She is allowed no money for personal use.

Abuse Facts

There is help

Do not be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help.

You are NOT to blame

Your partner may be angry or under stress but these are not excuses for violence. It is not your fault.

You are NOT the only one

Canadian born, immigrant, and refugee women share this problem. It happens to many women of all ages, religions, cultural backgrounds and incomes.

Nobody has the right to hurt you

Although people may tell you that it is your duty to obey your partner and stay with him/her, all forms of woman abuse is wrong.

It usually will NOT get better

Partners who are violent usually do not change. The abuse may get worse over time.

Abuse Warning Signs

Your partner…

  • 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 role.
  • Expects you to meet his/her emotional needs.
  • Blames others and you for his/her problems.
  • Threatens you with violence.
  • There may be many other warning signs; you can phone Genevra House (705-674-2210) for further information.

In your contact with any family member, the following observations should be considered clues to the possibility of assault:

  • A history of domestic violence or child abuse in the partner’s family of origin.
  • A suspicion of child abuse or sexual abuse in his/her role as a parent.
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol.
  • A history of suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.

Shows characteristics such as:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Temper tantrums
  • Jealousy
  • Possessiveness
  • Excessive dependence on his wife
  • Immaturity

***Adapted Understanding Wife assault: A Training Manual for Counselors and Advocates by Deborah Sinclair M.S.W. C.S.W. pg 44***

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