It is important that you develop a safety planregardless of whether or not you plan on leaving therelationship.
Somenos House is equipped to help you develop yourown personalized safety plan. You do not need to bestaying at Somenos House to access these services.
You can call 250-748-8544 for help.
What is Abuse?
Abuse can happen to anyone of any age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or gender. Abuse can affect people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It has no boundaries. Abuse can happen in many forms. Violence and Abuse in Intimate Partner Relationships happen when a person deliberately harms their intimate partner through verbal, physical, emotional, psychological, or sexualized ways. Violence and Abuse in other Relationships happens when a person uses abuse or violence in family relationships, in friendships, at work, school or at home.
Abuse is a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. While we often assume that abuse is physical, there are in fact many forms of domestic violence. Some are less obvious and difficult to see but are no less devastating. Many of these different forms of abuse can be going on at any one time. Abuse often occurs by a person known to the other person.
Abusers rarely exercise only one form of abuse on their loved ones. It is often the manipulation of several forms of abuse and behavior which can go from loving and attentive to violent and abusive in a matter of hours if not minutes.
Physical Abuse can include slapping, punching, kicking, and choking. It is being slammed against a wall or being injured with a weapon or object.
Psychological Abuse includes living with the constant fear of threats of violence against you and/or your children, friends, relatives, and pets. Your partner maybe harassing you at work by calling repeatedly or by showing up. They may destruct items that you value or may make suicide threats.
Emotional Abuse is the never-ending experience of criticism, name-calling, and put-downs alone or in public. It includes unjust blaming, false accusations about loyalties, and controls on your time, activities, and actions.
Sexual Abuse is being forced against your will to perform sexual acts or also have pain and injury inflicted during intercourse.
Financial Abuse means that you have limited or no access to the family’s money therefore no control over what is spent or saved, over what money comes into the family, and over what will be bought.
Digital Abuse is the use of technology to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. This includes your partner controlling whom your Facebook friends are, writing degrading messages about you in public spaces online, and having control of your passwords. The abuser may also access your phone to monitor whom you are texting and calling.
Spiritual Abuse may mean mocking or denigrating one’s spiritual beliefs or using religious doctrine as justification for abuse.
Source: Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters
Misuse of Power
We believe that violence and abuse are frequently about the misuse of power. Exerting power over another person is about feeling dominant or powerful at the expense of someone else, by hurting, controlling, manipulating, threatening or forcing your will on someone else.
This is very different from feeling power within. Feeling power within yourself is feeling capable, strong, and able to influence things around you without being harmful toothers. Positive power in relationships is the kind of power we feel when we are working as a team, getting more done together than we can do by ourselves. We all want to feel empowered in our relationships, and positive relationships are based on equality, respect, negotiation, and compromise. Choose respect!
You Are Not Alone
Abuse can feel lonely, isolating, crazy-making, embarrassing and frightening. You might think and have been told you are to blame or caused the problem. You have probably tried ways to manage the problem. Abuse may not be happening all the time. Abuse is never okay, no one has the right to hurt you. You deserve to feel loved, respected and comfortable in your relationships.
If you want to talk about what ishappening in your own situation we arehere to listen and help you sort out whatyour response will be.
Call 250 – 748 – 8544.
Making Your Safety Plan
Protection planning is very important, since leaving a relationship can sometimes lead the abuser to become more dangerous because he sees control over his victim disappearing. If you feel that you are at risk of violence by your partner, we strongly advise you to develop a personalized safety plan as a first step in protecting yourself and your children.
In addition to planning in advance where you would go in an emergency and how to get there, a safety plan also includes thinking about how to deal with your emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action, and more. You should consider including the following in your safety plan:
– Know the quickest route out of your home. Practice escaping that way.
– Know the quickest route out of your workplace. Practice escaping that way.
– Know the route to shelters, police stations, hospitals, and public places/stores that are open 24 hours a day
– Decide who can help you and talk to them about your plan.
– If appropriate, teach your children how to reach help(e.g. dialing 911, going to a neighbour) in an emergency situation.
– Try to put aside some money that your partner doesn’t know about.