Experiencing abusive relationships (family, partnership, or friendship) can be challenging and hard to talk about if you are living in isolation, don't have a support network, or are living in fear of violence. Supports are available to help you with past trauma, leaving a current situation, or moving on from living with violence.
If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety call 9-1-1.
How do I know if it's abuse?
People can be in abusive relationships with a family member or dating partner. Below are some warning signs of abuse. You may be in an abusive relationship if someone:
- Makes you feel humiliated, intimidated, or isolated through their words and actions.
- Stalks or follows you.
- Uses money to hold power over you.
- Uses texting or social media to bully, harass, or intimidate you.
- Pressures you with words or actions to engage in sexual activity you don't want to do.
An abusive partner might:
- Puts you down or calls you names you don't like.
- Tries to keep you away from your friends or family.
- Does not respect your "NO."
- Threatens to harm you, him or herself, or others.
- Is physically or sexually forceful with you in any way.
- Tells you that you're lucky anyone loves you.
- Hurts you and plays it off like a joke or like you made him or her do it.
An abused partner might:
- Make excuses for the abuser's behaviour.
- Feel nervous talking when the abuser is nearby.
- Be sick more often and miss work or school.
- Try to cover his or her bruises.
- Feel sad, lonely, withdrawn, and afraid.
- Use drugs or alcohol to cope.
- Be told by family and friends that he or she is "not the same" or "acting differently."
Watch and learn about abusive relationships.
I think I'm in an abusive relationship. What should I do?
There are many places to get help:
- Call the Domestic Violence Hotline for free support in BC anytime of the day or night. Call 1-800-563-0808.
- Find services in your community through Ending Violence Association of BC.
- Connect with an advocate or Aboriginal support person to help navigate the Justice System.
You an also create a safety plan:
- Call 9-1-1 if you are in danger.
- Build support for your journey forward.
- Find a counsellor.
- Connect with community agencies.
I'm no longer in an abusive relationship. Can I still get support?
Yes. There are several support services for people who've experienced abuse:
- The BC Society of Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse provides individual and group counselling for self-identified male survivors.
- Battered Women's Support Services provides support for self-identified female survivors of sexual abuse, and relationship violence and abuse.
- You can also find a counsellor.