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Family Violence

Family Violence is the abuse of power within a family or a relationship where one person trusts or depends on another.  This abuse of power threatens the survival, security or well-being of that person.  Any person in a family can be a victim of violence; man, woman or child.

The incidence, nature and impact of intimate partner violence are more severe for women than men. Woman abuse is about power, control and violence. Woman abuse happens all over the world, no matter what your cultural background is or how much money you have. In Canada, six out of every 100 women experience abuse by their spouse.

Abuse comes in many forms and victims may experience more than one.

  • Emotional/psychological/verbal
  • Environmental abuse in the home or vehicle
  • Social abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Ritual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Religious abuse

What kind of relationship are you in?

Relationship Tool

Healthy relationships are based on equality and respect.

  • You make decisions together
  • You openly discuss challenges
  • You enjoy spending time together or apart

Unhealthy relationships are based on attempts to control the other person.

  • One person tries to make most of the decisions
  • One person pressures their partner about sex
  • One person does not see how their actions can be hurtful
  • One person pressures their partner to spend time only with them

Abusive relationships are based on power and control

  • One person makes all of the decisions about sexual choices, friends and boundaries
  • One person is made to spend all free time with their partner
  • One person makes their partner feel guilty or crazy by playing mind games
  • One person is afraid to talk about what is really happening in the relationship
  • One person lives in fear because of threats or acts of physical violence
  • One person is destroying things

Take the relationship quiz

Know the signs of abuse and get help. Do not handle the situation alone, contact the police for help. In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Call Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 1-866-863-0511 to create a safety plan – keep you and your child(ren) safe.

Clear your internet tracks for safety

Think that the internet is a safe place to get information? It is, but every time you visit an internet website or search for something on the web, your computer leaves behind a trail of your searches. If you are a victim abuse, you don’t want your partner to find out you are searching for information on the Internet. There are ways to erase the trails that your computer automatically creates.

Following the steps below should clear your browser’s history, but it is in no way a guarantee that information will not be left in your browser. If you are in an abusive relationship, do not use your own computer to research information or resources.

Clearing history and cache files in:

Internet Explorer 7 and 8

  1. In the menu, click on Tools
  2. Click on Internet Options
  3. In General Options under Browser History, select Delete.
  4. You may clear everything or select to delete Temporary internet files; Cookies, History; Form data and/or Passwords

Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11:

  1. Click on the "gear" icon
  2. Under General, (or Safety for IE 11), select Delete Browser History.
  3. You may clear everything or select to delete Temporary internet files; Cookies, History; Download History, Form data, Passwords and/or InPrivate Filtering data. De-select "Preserve Favorites website data".
  4. Select the Delete button.


  1. Select the Firefox menu in the top right corner (three lines).
  2. Choose History.
  3. Select Clear Recent History.
  4. Choose a time range from the pop up window.
  5. Click on Clear Now.


  1. From the Safari menu in the top left corner, select Reset Safari.
  2. Note that this clears the history and cookies but also clears the downloads and saved AutoFill data such as passwords.

Google Chrome

  1. Click the Chrome menu in the top right corner (three dots).
  2. Select Tools (or More Tools).
  3. Select Clear browsing data.
  4. In the pop up window, select the time range you want to delete. Select beginning of time to clear your entire browsing history.
  5. Click Clear browsing data.

Cover your email tracks

  • Be sure to delete any outgoing and incoming e-mails
  • Change your e-mail password often
  • Print all threatening and harassing e-mails to use as evidence of criminal activity
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Community Resources

  • In an emergency, call Police at 9-1-1
  • In cases of non-emergencies, call Police at 1-866-876-5423

Related Resources

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