About Abuse


Abuse can happen to anyone of any age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Abuse can affect people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It has no boundaries.

Remember that you do not have to stay in a shelter to receive help from them.

Abuse is a repetitive pattern of behaviours to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. While we often assume that abuse is physical, there are in fact many forms of domestic violence. Some are less obvious and difficult to see but are no less devastating. Different forms of abuse can be occurring at the same time.

Types Of Abuse

Abusers rarely exercise only one form of abuse on their loved ones. It is often the manipulation of several forms of abuse and behaviour that can go from loving and attentive to violent and abusive.

Physical Abuse can include slapping, punching, kicking, and choking. It is being slammed against a wall or being injured with a weapon or object.

Psychological Abuse includes living with the constant fear and/or threat of violence against you and/or your children, friends, relatives, and pets. Your partner may be harassing you at work by calling repeatedly or by showing up. They may destruct items that you value or may make suicide threats.

Emotional Abuse is never-ending criticism, name-calling, and put-downs alone or in public. It includes unjust blaming, false accusations about loyalties, and controls on your time, activities, and actions.

Sexual Abuse or Marital Rape is being forced against your will to perform sexual acts or to have pain and injury inflicted during sexual activity.

Financial Abuse means that you have limited or no access to the family’s money and therefore no control over what is spent or saved, what money comes into the family, and what will be bought.

Technology-facilitated abuse is the use of technology to bully, harass, stalk, or intimidate a partner. This includes your partner controlling who your Facebook friends are, writing degrading messages about you in public spaces online, and having control of your passwords. The abuser may also access your phone to monitor who you are texting and calling.

Spiritual Abuse includes mocking or denigrating your spiritual beliefs or using religious doctrine as justification for abuse.

Source: Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters