Usually victims of conjugal violence feel isolated, lonely, and are filled with fear. Therefore, even if you might be hesitant to help, the simple act of reaching out and letting a victim know that you are there to support them, can provide tremendous relief.
If a victim does decide to open up to you, listen to her without passing judgement. However always make sure that both you and the victim are in a safe environment. Also, it is imperative that you do not bring up the issue in front of others and most importantly in front of the victims partner.
Finally, help the victim access support services such as talking to a social worker, attending support groups and help her find information about her rights.
- Do not isolate yourself, it is important that you speak to someone you are comfortable with about your situation.
- Seek out external resources, there are many resources available to help you such as talking to a social worker, who will listen to you and give you information about your rights and different options. Also, this service is free and confidential.
- Call the police and report the incident. It is important to remember to write down the report number in order to refer to the incident at a later date.
- However, after reporting an incident to police, the decision to press charges is not up to you and the police can press charges against your partner, even if you don not want to.
- Remember 1 out of 4 calls to police is someone reporting a conjugal violence situation
- Go to a shelter, if you do not feel safe in your own home. Shelters are secure and confidential locations you can live in for a certain period of time, and where you can have access to a support system of social workers who can help you start your new life.
- The services offered by shelters are: individual consultations, support groups and accompaniments.
- Also certain shelters have social workers who do speak your language. Therefore, you can be provided information in the language you are most comfortable with. This service is also free, and all information discussed with the social workers is confidential.
If you are a victim of abuse, you are not alone and you have the right to be safe! Do not be afraid to ask for help!
Conjugal violence is not tolerated in Canada, in all shapes and forms. If you are worried about the safety of yourself and your children, there are a number of resources that can help you. See “Info & Help” for more information.
REMEMBER… You have the right to be free from abuse and you can break free from the cycle of violence!
Is conjugal violence a private or public issue?
- Conjugal violence is NOT considered a private issue but rather a social problem, which needs to be openly discussed. Furthermore, in Canada, conjugal violence is not tolerated.
- Also, the idea that conjugal violence is a private matter further ostracizes the victim and keeps them under the control of their partner. It also prevents them from seeking any form of help.
Why would a woman in a violent relationships stay with their partners?
There are a number of reasons why a woman would decide to stay with their abusive partner. Some women have hope that their partner will change (stop their violent behaviour), others feel guilty about breaking up their family and there are also women who believe they are not financially independent enough to make it on their own.
If a partner seeks help for their violent issues, will the abuse stop?
Therapy can address the violent behaviour but it is not a miracle solution. The first step towards change is for the partner to recognize that they need to change. Furthermore, the consequences of the violence (including both physical and psychological) will not go away on its own. It is important that the victim finds a way to heal from the effects of the abuse (EX. by talking to a social worker, by attending a support group, etc.)
Can men be victims of conjugal violence?
Yes. Due to the fact that conjugal violence is based on a relationship of domination; both men and women can become victims of this crime. In fact, of all the cases of conjugal violence reported in Québec, approximately 15% of victims are men.