What is Abuse?

Physical Abuse
Is any slapping, punching, kicking, choking, etc.. It is being slammed against a wall or being injured with a weapon or object. Brutal beatings can result in bruising, lacerations, broken bones or death. 60% of the victims of female homicide died at the hands of their partner (Statistics Canada).

Psychological Abuse
Describes living with the constant fear of threats of violence against a woman, her children or her friends and relatives. It includes being harassed at work by phone calls or visits, the destruction of prized possessions and even suicide threats on the part of the victimizer. The intent is to control the behaviour of the woman. Threats of violence are illegal under the terms of Canada's Criminal Code.

Emotional Abuse
Is never-ending experience of criticism, name-calling, and put downs alone or in front of friends and relatives. It includes unjust blaming, false accusations about loyalties and controls on time, activities and actions. Women who are emotionally abused find it also impossible to seek employment or a promotion, keep friends or join groups outside the home.

Sexual Abuse
Or Marital Rape is being forced against your will to perform sexual acts or also have pain and injury inflicted during the intercourse. A 1983 Canadian law has addressed the issue of sexual assault within marriage, making it a crime for a man to sexually assault his wife or partner.

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 she has 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. Remember that the law now says that, in cases of divorce, the woman has a right to 50% of the family's assets.