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Types of Abuse

Emotional Assault

A pattern of destructive behaviour that attacks a person’s sense of self-worth and confidence which are broken down into 7 forms of emotional abuse:

  • Degrading: Messages of not being good enough (humiliation, insults)
  • Ignoring: Ignore or gives mixed messages
  • Isolating: Cut off from normal social interaction: become emotionally dependant
  • Terrorizing: Causes Fear
  • Corrupting: Encouraging illegal, destructive behaviours
  • Exploiting: Using the other person for social or economic gain
  • Controlling: Dominates and controls – often motivated by jealousy

Physical Assault

The intentional use of force, or threats of force, on another person in attempt to control behaviour, intimidate, or punish and can include:

  • Scratching, punching, biting or kicking someone
  • Throwing objects at the other person
  • Pushing or pulling someone
  • Grabbing someone’s clothing
  • Using a weapon
  • Preventing someone from looking away
  • Preventing someone from leaving a place
  • Strangulation

Sexual Assault

The force of any form of sexual activity on someone else without that person’s voluntary *consent.

*Consent: Consent is freely given, willing, non-pressured agreement to engage in any type of sexual activity.

Red Flags

It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive. It can take six months to a year, or even longer to see all of the different personality traits of your partner. Red Flags are indicators of potential abuse.

Your Partner May…

  • Control all of the finances or do things to ensure you are financially reliant
  • Make jokes that are intended to make you uncomfortable ie) threaten to take the children/pets if you were to ever leave / joke about assaulting you
  • Encourage you to stop spending time with family or friends
  • Demand that you no longer spend time with family or friends
  • Makes demands or accusations regarding your appearance/dress
  • Be Argumentative/moody/combative
  • Accuse you of flirting or cheating without reasonable cause
  • Share your personal information/secrets with others
  • Ignore you in certain situations and is attentive in others
  • Use passive aggressive or manipulative behavior to get what they want from you
  • Yell, throw objects or otherwise make you afraid
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, a pet or themselves when upset
  • Intentionally scare you or make you nervous
  • Emotionally, Physically or Sexually Assault you and promise it will never happen again
  • Blame you for their outbursts or abuse
  • Approve or justify others’ violent behavior
  • Insist on making all the plans when you hang out
  • Constantly check up on you – where you are, what you are doing

Safety Planning


Making a safety plan involves identifying the steps you can take to increase your safety and helps to prepare you and your children in advance for the possibility of further violence.