Definitions of Abuse

Typically when one thinks of abuse the type that comes to mind is physical. This can be one of the easiest forms of abuse to have evidence for. In Canada there is currently no specific offence referred to as family / domestic violence, many of the acts and attributes described below do fall under criminal offences.

Physical Abuse:  any forceful or violent physical behavior towards another such as hitting, slapping, kicking, punching, pushing, biting, burning, choking, restraining, using a weapon, breaking bones, denying a person medical treatment, bondage, and murder.

    Sexual Abuse:  any non-consenting sexual act or behavior including forced sex when you are sleeping, drunk, high, unable to say no, afraid to say no, after having said no or at any point when your “NO” is not respected.

    Emotional Abuse:  anything that attacks your self-esteem or who you are including:  name calling, criticism, being blamed for anything and everything that goes wrong, having affection withheld, not being treated with respect in public or around family/friends, being mocked, accused of things which are untrue, having family members criticized, being told what you have to say is not important, etc.

    Spiritual Abuse:  being denied to participate in or explore your own spirituality, forcing you to accept and/or participate in spiritual activities you do not believe in, mocking your beliefs, using religion in order to control or harm you.

    Psychological Abuse:  anything done to you involving hurt, anger, fear and degradation including:  being threatened with physical violence, threatened with a weapon, to have children or pets harmed, to have property hidden, stolen, destroyed, vague threats, forced to stay awake or to get up from sleep, confined to the house, having objects thrown and/or broken, punching walls, slamming doors, monitoring/limiting your use of the phone, screening your calls, keeping you from friends and family, refusing to let you work, following you (stalking you), interrupting your meals, keeping you from doing the things you enjoy, controlling all the finances, refusing to work, spending all the family money on themselves or their addictions (alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc), acting as though the work you do is of no value, restricting you to certain rooms, denying you access to certain rooms, checking the mileage on the car, jealousy, forcing you to do things you don’t like, insisting that you be with them all the time, going through your personal things without your consent, having to account for any time spent apart, having to account for any money spent, making endless lists of things for you to do in impossible time frames, threatening that they will leave or commit suicide if you don’t do something they want or do something they don’t want you to.

Financial Abuse:  anything done to control you financially, taking your pay cheque from you, refusing you money to take care of your basic needs, denying you or your children the basic necessities when there are financial means to do so, making you beg for money for basic needs, not including you in financial decisions, using the family financial resources to feed an addiction, etc.