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Domestic Abuse: It is Never Your Fault

Let’s Talk About Domestic Abuse

In the quiet corners of homes across Canada, a silent epidemic persists: domestic abuse. We do not know what happens behind closed doors. Countless individuals suffer in silence, enduring physical, emotional, and psychological harm at the hands of those they trust the most. We must openly talk about this dark reality. It is time to familiarize ourselves about the prevalence of domestic abuse, the injuries it inflicts, and most importantly, the steps victims can take to break free and seek help.

Warning: This blog post may be triggering to some people. If you are in an abusive relationship and find yourself in a dangerous situation please, call 911, find safety, ask for help.

How Many People Are Affected by Domestic Abuse?

Each year in Canada, thousands of individuals fall victim to domestic abuse, facing a frightening reality of violence and control within their own homes. According to recent statistics, approximately one in three Canadians has experienced abuse at some point in their lifetime. Women are disproportionately affected by intimate partner violence.

Common Injuries Reported From Domestic Abuse

  • Cuts or Lacerations often are sustained by kitchen knives, broken glass, or scissors.
  • Broken Bones
  • Facial Trauma such as black eyes, scratches, broken jaws. These often cause emotional trauma in addition to the physical.
  • Handprints from slaps, being held or restrained and strangulation marks around the neck.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the most critical injury. One in eight women who have suffered domestic violence have an unrecognized brain injury from a blow to the head. TBI is most dangerous as it can cause serious disability, CTE symptoms or death to the victim.
  • Sexual abuse from rape to unprotected sex causing transmission of disease and miscarriage.

Signs of Victim Abuse

  • Embarrass you in private or public
  • Treat you as if you are not intelligent
  • Gaslighting
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go? This may even be “checking” in with you frequently when you are out.
  • Isolating you from your friends or family members
  • Take control of your money or paychecks, put you on an allowance and watch what you are spending on.
  • Will not let you have input on decisions
  • Criticizing you parenting or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
  • Prevent you from working or going to school
  • Blaming you for the abuse, or even deny doing it
  • Destroy property or threaten to kill your pets
  • Intimidate you with weapons, words or actions
  • Physically abuse you
  • Threaten suicide
  • Threaten to kill you
  • Prevent you from practicing safe sex

Common Excuses for Domestic Abuse

  • I was just joking.
  • I am sorry I will never do that again.
  • Its your fault you upset me.
  • You had it coming.
  • You are just as bad as I am.
  • I was having a bad day.
  • You pushed my buttons – you know how to set me off.
  • You are remembering things wrong – It was not like that.

The Injuries and Impact of Domestic Abuse

The injuries sustained in cases of domestic abuse extend far beyond the physical. While bruises and broken bones may be visible signs, the emotional and psychological scars run much deeper. Victims often experience feelings of fear, helplessness, and isolation, with long-lasting effects on their mental well-being and self-esteem. We must not forget that, children witnessing domestic violence are victims as well. They may suffer from trauma that affects their development and future relationships.

Common Reasons for Not Leaving Domestic Abuse

  • I know he loves me, and I love him.
  • The children
  • It is only once in a while.
  • He apologized and promised it would not happen again.
  • I have no where to go.
  • I have no job.
  • No money
  • I am afraid for my safety if I called the police or left.
  • We have been together for so long.
  • Its my fault – IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT

What Can You Do If You Are A Victim Of Domestic Abuse

It is a very isolating feeling when you are trapped in an abusive relationship. Please know that you are not alone. Help is available and there is no shame in asking someone for help. Here are steps you can take to protect yourself and reclaim your safety:

1. Reach Out for Support: Whether it’s confiding in a trusted friend, family member, or contacting a local support organization, reaching out for help is the first crucial step. Remember, there are compassionate professionals ready to offer guidance and assistance.

2. Develop a Safety Plan: Plan a safe exit strategy, including identifying safe places to go and important documents to take with you. Keep a discreet emergency bag packed and accessible in case you need to leave quickly. Open a bank account separate from any joint accounts and preferably in a different financial institution. Save what you can in the event you must leave.

3. Seek Legal Assistance: Consult with a legal professional who has experience in domestic abuse cases to explore your options for protection orders, custody arrangements, and legal recourse against your abuser.

4. Access Community Resources: Take advantage of community resources such as shelters, hotlines, and counseling services tailored to support survivors of domestic violence. These organizations offer a safe haven and comprehensive support to help you rebuild your life.

5. Prioritize Self-Care: Healing from the trauma of domestic abuse takes time and self-compassion. Practice self-care activities that nurture your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, whether it’s seeking therapy, engaging in hobbies, or connecting with supportive peers. If police are involved you may qualify for Crime Victims Assistance Program. They offer important services like counselling to help you recover mentally.

Where Can You Get Help

There are many places you can look for help leaving an abusive relationship, recovering from abuse and starting over again. If the police are involved, ask for Victims Assistance counselling, reach out to your family doctor, your church or any other community group that offers support for families fleeing abuse.

Legal Options

As we confront the harsh reality of domestic abuse in Canada, it is important to support survivors, offering compassion, support, and a providing hope. By raising awareness, breaking the cycle of silence, and providing pathways to safety and healing, we can create a future where every individual can thrive free from fear and violence. Remember, you are worthy of love, respect, and a life free from abuse.

If you are leaving an abusive relationship and have legal questions about how divorce or separation works. Have any questions about children and their care, asset division, or have been a victim of physical trauma, the lawyers at Wishart Brain and Spine Law, are here to help you through your unique legal process. 

If you are currently living with domestic violence please seek immediate care. Call 911, leave for a safe place that the abuser would not know about. Most importantly seek medical attention immediately if you have been physically hurt.

Remember Domestic Abuse is Never Your Fault.


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