Recognizing Abuse

What is Abuse?

Abuse is a pattern of verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual behaviours used by one person in order to gain power and control over another person. When you are being abused you may feel afraid, worthless and helpless. Anyone can be a victim of abuse, regardless of ethnic background, age, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, marital, financial or employment status.

Am I being abused?

Please remember that no one has the right to hurt you. You have the right to be free from abuse. You are not at fault and you do not cause the abuse.

Abuse can look like this:

·       HIts, kicks punches, pushes you around or hurts you in other ways

·       Constantly puts you down in public or in private

·       Makes you feel stupid, crazy, worthless

·       Isolates you from positive people who care about you

·       Makes it hard for you to leave your home

·       Does things that make you afraid, like throwing things or raising a fist

·       Threatens you physically or with other threats.

·       Forces you into sex you don’t want or sexual acts you don’t like by physical force or intimidation

·       Deprives you of necessities

·       Controls you in excessive ways, like tracking your time, taking your money, making abnormal demands of what you do or don’t do

You may feel:

·       Emotionally torn, confused

·       Afraid for yourself or your children

·       Helpless, like there’s no way out

·       Tense, anxious or on edge

·       Like you are never right, no matter what you do

·       Guilty or ashamed about what is happening