What is abuse?

The first column in a series, courtesy of the Anti Violence Advocates Society

Anti Violence Advocates Society

Anti Violence Advocates Society

What is abuse?

Abuse is any behaviour that is used to gain and/or maintain power and control over another person. Abuse is never the fault of the victim.

Types of abuse include:

• Emotional – yelling, raging, putdowns, sarcasm, blame, threats, silent treatment, forced to do degrading acts, controlling, isolation from family and friends, belittlement, threats of killing self/partner/children.

• Physical – pushing, shoving, slapping, punching, choking, pinching, biting, spitting, striking or threatening with weapons, cutting, restraining, burning, pulling hair, withholding medical treatment, depriving of sleep or food.

• Financial – allowing no access to money, running-up bills, withholding financial information, taking and/or belittling your financial contribution, threatening no financial support if you leave.

• Sexual – forcing or coercing sex (rape), insisting on sexual acts, accusing partner of unfaithfulness, assaulting breasts or genitals.

If you have been living in an abusive relationship, you may feel confused and afraid and not know where to turn or what to do. You may have mixed feelings of love and anger; wanting the abuse to end, but not wanting the relationship to be over. If you are in immediate danger call 911. For help contact Interior Health Crisis Line 1-888-353-2273.