Domestic Violence can happen to anyone

The term domestic violence describes a range of behaviours or actions taken by a person to control and dominate another person. Domestic violence is characterized by abusive, coercive, forceful, or threatening acts or words used by one member of a family, household, or intimate relationship against another. Domestic violence may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and/or spiritual abuse.

The forms of abuse may differ, but the motivation is ultimately the same: the control of the victim by the abuser. Domestic violence occurs in all sectors of society, regardless of age, gender, marital status, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, culture, or ethnicity. Other commonly used terms to describe similar behaviours include family violence, intimate partner violence, and spousal assault/ violence.

What are some of the signs that someone I know is being abused?

Persons with disabilities, men, youth, seniors, and same-sex partners may also be coping with domestic violence. It occurs within families, between spouses, common-law couples, boyfriends and girlfriends, and ex-partners.

Domestic violence is often hidden or down-played by the abused person and the abuser. Both will often claim it's a private matter. People who suspect a problem are often afraid to intervene.

It's important to know some of the signs:

  • frequent injuries from what the victim claims are "accidents"
  • increased or appearing isolated from family and friends
  • jumpiness, depression or anxiety
  • loss or decrease in self-esteem as a result of the abuse
  • having trouble concentrating
  • dramatic change in manner, mood or physical appearance
  • excessive coping behaviours: over-eating, smoking, substance abuse, or gambling
  • apologizing for partners behaviour
  • expressed fear of family member
  • family member's jealousy or possessiveness 
  • trying to cover up bruises or scratches e.g. wearing long sleeves in summer

How do I know if it's happening to me?

It can be hard to realize you're caught in the cycle of abuse and it may be even harder to admit it to yourself or anyone else. You are living with violence if someone close to you is:

  • hurting you physically
  • threatening to hurt you, your children, family members, or pets 
  • forcing you to have sex or watch others have sex.
  • constantly humiliating you, calling you names or insulting you
  • isolating you from friends and family
  • monitoring your e-mails, phone calls, Internet activity 
  • denying your access to food, clothing, medication, any other basic needs
  • controlling your finances   

Where can I get help?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, or know someone that can use these services, contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321.

If you want to learn more about the signs of domestic violence contact Isabel or Melissa at 250-338-7575

If you are in immediate danger call 911

*credit for photo from Record/RCMP