What is Abuse?

What is Abuse?

Also referred to as domestic violence or intimate partner violence, this is an intentional pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour of one person over another.  It occurs in all communities regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race ethnicity, religion, culture or socio-economic status.

Abuse can be…


Slapping, hitting, choking, punching, biting, pulling hair, burning, use of weapons.


Any behaviour that isolates and alienates a woman from her friends & families


Any unwelcome or forced sexual activity.  This includes threats or coercion to obtain sex, forcing sex when you’re sick after childbirth or surgery, treating her as a sexual object, refusing or forcing her to use contraception, forced abortion or pregnancy, pressure to perform sex with other people.

Workplace violence/

Excessive phone calls or text messages, disruptive visits to the workplace, leaving insulting or threatening messages

Financial abuse/exploitation

Any behaviour that reduces/eliminates a woman’s financial independence and/or decision-making.  This includes withholding or controlling access to money, stealing or taking away benefit payments or personal money, preventing access to household financial information, spending money on addiction, gambling, sexual services, using wealth to involve her in expensive legal proceedings or to manipulate or prolong legal proceeding


Any tactics that exert power and control over a woman’s spirituality and religious orientation.  This includes using religion to justify abuse or dominance, using church position for sex or favours, putting down spiritual beliefs, preventing access to temple, church or mosque, forced participations in religion or cults


Tactics that result in a women being afraid of her surroundings including slamming doors, punching walls, harming pets, driving too fast


Threats, name calling, insults, neglect & isolation, withholding love, intimidations, silent treatment, gaslighting, degradation, extreme jealousy, threats of suicide, stalking, controlling your time, what you do or how you look, not respecting your privacy, restricting food, coming home drunk or stoned, refusing to provide support or help out with children