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Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

According to Statistics Canada, 44% of women reported experiencing some form of psychological, physical, or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes and approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

In general, male victims are left out of the domestic violence conversation because statistics show that women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than men, however, violence is violence and there are no exceptions.

In a Statistics Canada report called “Family Violence in Canada: A statistical profile,” men self-reported to have been abused by their partners at a higher rate than women- with 4.2 per cent of men and 3.5 per cent of women being victims.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic abuse, often known as “domestic violence” or “intimate partner violence,” is a pattern of conduct intended to establish or retain power and control over an intimate partner in any relationship, whether it be physical, emotional, sexual, social, financial, and/or spiritual.

Domestic violence and abuse usually does not happen overnight, and thus can be difficult for the victim to realize the situation that they are in. Instead, domestic violence is a buildup of micro-abuse such as disparaging comments here and there, unreasonable/bizarre excuses to keep you from visiting your friends or family, a brief light physical interaction you don’t think much about, and much more.

Signs Someone Is Experiencing Domestic Abuse

  • Develops a wary and distant demeanor
  • To begin isolating themselves; they cut off communication with friends and family members.
  • Cancels last-minute engagements or plans  
  • Stops doing the activities that they used to like and partake in.

Types/Signs of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not always physical, it can also be in forms of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, social abuse, financial abuse and spiritual abuse.

Physical abuse: If someone has been physically abused, they will almost likely have bruises or bodily injuries from being hit, strangled, or pushed, as well as a poor or inconsistent report of these injuries.

For the victim, they may experience punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking, pulling of hair, use of weapons, isolation, reckless driving, damaged property etc. by the abuser.

Emotional abuse: Domestic violence has a profound emotional impact on victims, leaving them feeling helpless, despaired, or sad. Victims of domestic violence may believe they will never be free of the abuser’s grip. They may also be hypervigilant to the point of being unable to rest completely.

The abuser may call the victim names, insult/criticize the victim or the victims’ loved ones, demand the victim of their whereabouts every second/minute, accuse the victim of bizarre doings, blame the victim for their actions, make the victim feel as though they are not good enough, ignore/isolate them, and more.

Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse includes rape, extreme indecency, and a wide range of other unwanted sexual activities used by offenders to manipulate and develop a sense of control over their victims.

The abuser may demand sex regardless of victim consent, forcing the victim to engage in unwanted sexual activities, forcing the victim to watch pornography, making the victim feel like they owe them, not taking no for an answer, making the victim feel threatened or scared if they were to say “no,” insulting the victim in sexual ways/name calling, and much more.

Financial abuse:

Financial abuse happens when someone close to you has control over your finances and access to money, leading you to be financially dependent on them and begging them for money on a regular basis.

The victim may give victim an allowance and closely monitor how they spend it/demand receipts for purchases and then harass/question them for it, they may deny the victim access to their own account, the victim may forbid the victim to work or limit the hours that they can work for bizarre reasons such as trust issues or jealousy, they may steal money from the victim with no reason/explanation, may deprive the victim by refusing to give them money to pay for necessities, and much more.

Spiritual abuse:

The abuser makes it impossible for the victim to have their own religious, cultural, or value viewpoints. It might also involve persuading the victim to mistrust their spiritual beliefs in order to make them feel powerless. Attempting to create guilt as well as preventing someone from following their religious or cultural beliefs are examples of spiritual abuse.

The victim’s religious views or practices are shamed, mocked, or ridiculed by the abuser and may obstruct the victim of their ability to practice their faith as they would like to. The abuser may manipulate or harass the victim based on their own beliefs/views and force their children to be raised with or without a particular faith. The victim may be abused either physically, sexually, financially, etc. and the abuser may use religious texts or ideas as justifications for their actions/behaviour.

What to Do if You’re Being Abused

To begin, please recognize that you are worthy of better and that this isn’t your fault. If you are being abused by someone close to you, always have an escape plan.

Consider what has happened before and how the abuser has behaved. Determine when the abuser is likely to become violent (e.g., behavioral such as body language/drug usage, or event-driven such as paydays, holidays, etc.) and stay alert and brainstorm a plan for what you’ll do if the violence flares up again. Determine what has previously worked to keep you safe; is it safe to contact law enforcement? Is there a telephone in the residence? Can you devise a signal with the kids or neighbours to summon assistance?

If you have an emergency, dial 911 and make the call from a safe place, such as a relative’s or friend’s house.

Contact Pace Law Firm Today!

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, it is critical to contact a family lawyer or advocate who can offer you support, referrals, and information about available resources. Abusive partners are frequently quite skilled at isolating their partners from their support systems. As a result, victims may feel humiliated and alone, believing that no one would understand their situation. At Pace Family Law, we respect the vulnerability of domestic violence victims and have successfully settled thousands of cases.

You’re not on your own. At Pace Family Law, we are willing to assist you- we are here to help you in the safest most effective way possible and get you the justice and freedom you deserve. You are entitled to be treated with dignity, it is not your fault if you have been abused or mistreated. Your abuser’s aggressive conduct is not your fault, and they should be held accountable for their actions. You are entitled to live a happy and safe life.