Abuse – Facts for DV Awareness Month

November is National Domestic Violence Awareness month in Canada.  Here are some facts about abuse taken directly from the Ontario Women’s Directorate.  Please share the information and help raise awareness.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour used by one person to gain power and control over another person with whom he/she has or has had an intimate relationship.

The behaviour may include physical violence, sexual, emotional, and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking, and using electronic devices to harass and control.

Who is affected by domestic violence?

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, whatever their age, race, economic status, religion, sexual orientation, or education.

While men can be victims of domestic violence, women represent the overwhelming majority of victims of such violence. It is consistently identified as one of the most common forms of violence against women in Canada. It robs a woman of her health, her dignity and the confidence to realize her full potential.

Most abuse occurs in intimate heterosexual relationships; however it can occur in gay and lesbian relationships as well.

Why is it important to address domestic violence?

Everyone has the right to live in safety and with dignity, free from intimidation and the threat of violence.

While 80 per cent of domestic violence victims tell family or friends of their situation, only 30 per cent report the abuse to the police.

The warning signs:

  • Is she apologetic and does she make excuses for his behaviour or does she becomes aggressive and angry
  • Is she nervous talking when he’s there
  • Does she seem to be sick and/or miss work more often
  • Does he check up on her all the time, even at work
  • Does he try to keep her away from you
  • Does he act as if he owns her?

How to help:

  • Talk to her about what you see and assure her that you are concerned. Tell her you believe her and that it is not her fault.
  • Encourage her not to confront her partner if she is planning to leave. Her safety must be protected.
  • Offer to provide childcare while she seeks help.
  • Offer your home as a safe haven to her, her children and pets. If she accepts your offer, do not let her partner in.
  • Encourage her to pack a small bag with important items and keep it stored at your home in case she needs it.
  • Know that you or she can call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, your local shelter, or, in an emergency, the police.

If you are the victim of domestic violence:

Remember it is never your fault. You’re not alone. Tell someone you trust. Help is available.

Source: http://www.women.gov.on.ca/owd/english/ending-violence/stop-domestic-abuse.shtml

 

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