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Let's Talk Abuse

Artistic renditions by Aditi Misra.

  • Signs of Abuse
    Are you in an abusive relationship? There are many ways your partner can abuse you: PHYSICAL abuse includes: hitting, grabbing, pulling hair, choking, restraining, threats to kill you. EMOTIONAL abuse includes: neglect, disbelieving you, inappropriate expressions of jealousy. FINANCIAL abuse includes: taking your money, forging your name, keeping family finances a secret. VERBAL abuse includes: name calling, starting arguments, yelling, intimidation. PSYCHOLOGICAL abuse includes: brainwashing, manipulations, withholding affections. SEXUAL abuse includes: forcing you to have sex, degrading your body parts, sleeping around. RITUAL abuse includes: mutilation, human sacrifices, suggesting or promoting suicide. RELIGIOUS abuse include: using religion to justify abuse or dominance, mocking your beliefs, excessive spending for religion. SOCIAL abuse includes: controlling who you see, put downs, not allowing access to family and friends, making a “scene” in public. ENVIRONMENTAL (home/vehicle) abuse includes: harming pets, throwing or destroying possessions, slamming doors, driving too fast, hitting you while you are driving, threatening to kill you by driving off a bridge etc.
  • You May Be Abused if Your Partner...
    Puts you down and makes you feel like a nobody. Makes it hard for you to leave the house or see your friends and family. Beats you. Makes you have sex when you don’t want to. Makes you feel afraid for yourself or your children. Destroys your belongings. Makes you feel guilty or blames you for what is happening. Doesn’t give you enough money to look after yourself or the children.
  • Children Who Witness Abuse May...
    Blame themselves for the violence. Experience physical complaints such as headaches, stomach aches and other illnesses. Have nightmares or difficulty sleeping. Act out their mixed emotions either by being aggressive or self-destructive or by trying very hard to be compliant or passive. Grow up believing that: It is alright for men to hit women. Violence is a way to win arguments. It is OK to hit someone if you feel angry or upset. Men are powerful, women are weak. There are few, if any, negative consequences for abusive acts. They are responsible for the abuse and responsible for solutions.
  • Characteristics for an Abuser...
    80% were abused as children or saw their mothers abused. Blame partners for their abusive behaviour. Place enormous expectations on partners to feel good about themselves. Are very jealous and possessive of partners. Tend not to trust other people, and therefore tend not to share inner world with others. Have limited or no social network; partner is closest person he knows. Highly emotionally dependent on partner; subject to depression known only to family. Tend to express all negative feelings as anger. Have low self-esteem. Get needs met by control, such as violence and threats. May threaten suicide if partner leaves. Come from all socioeconomic levels; all educational levels; all racial, age and ethnic groups. Can be very pleasant outside of the home and very unkind at home. Frequently demanding and assaultive in sexual behaviour. Hold very traditional, stereotyped views of male-female roles and relationships. Lack sympathy for partner’s physical and emotional pain. Tend to minimize and deny the abuse.
  • Why Would a Woman Stay?
    One of the biggest misconceptions and tragedies is society’s willingness to blame the victim. We must place responsibility for the crimes on the offenders and stop blaming the victims. “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” Well, there are lots of reasons why women stay. Here are just a few: She loves the partner, not the violence. She made a commitment she feels she can’t break. She has nowhere else to go. She has no money, or fears the poverty that may result for her and her children if she leaves. Relatives and in-laws want her to stay. She believes her partner can’t get along without her — he may have threatened suicide if she leaves. She wants her children to grow up with their father. He takes her confidence away so she doesn’t think she can make it on her own. She believes her partner will change. She is afraid or ashamed. He makes her feel guilty and tells her the abuse is her fault. She believes she deserves the abuse. She’s afraid for her own and her children’s lives. Leaving a violent situation or relationship is the most dangerous time for a woman. One in five women who reported abuse said that violence occurred following or during a separation. In one-third of these cases, the violence increased in severity at the time of separation. There are many reasons why a woman stays, but the real question is why some men choose to assault and intimidate women.
  • Signs of a healthy relationship
    RESPECT: Respecting each other’s decisions and choices Accepting the other person for who they are “no one is in charge; it is a partnership” HONESTY/TRUST Absence of lies, manipulations and secrets Building trust takes time “my partner isn’t suspicious or jealous of my friends”. SUPPORT Comfort and empathy for one another Annoyances are worked out and not allowed to escalate You are there for each other in both good and bad times “my partner does not put me down or discourage me from achieving goals” ABLE TO BE YOURSELF Not afraid to say what is on your mind Can be yourself “I don’t have to pretend to be someone I am not” FAIR FIGHTING Arguments and disagreements are normal in every relationship Both partners us fair play; this means: no physical use of power, no name calling, stay in the “here and now”- don’t drag up the past “I have choices. If my partner asks me to do anything I don’t want to, I have the right to say no”.
  • Some signs of healthy verses unhealthy relationships
    HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP Respect Trust Honesty Loyalty Caring Communication Supportive to each other Non-judgmental Equality You can be yourself UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP Jealousy Mind games Criticism Intimidation Anger/rage No privacy Lying Stalking Harassment Power/control
  • Red Flags - Things to look out for
    Things to look out for: Jealousy He checks up on you He calls women sluts Controls your time and your activities He flirts with other women Does not talk about his ex-partners Has no friends Has inappropriate anger You feel invisible, worthless, dumb, incompetent, embarrassed Always asks for money Criticizes how you look or what you wear Answers the phone for you Possessive and intrusive
  • Self care: Ways to take care of yourself
    Self-care does not have to be complicated or time consuming, it can be simple things that give us a moment of happiness and peace…….here are some examples of self-care. Go for a walk Get enough sleep Listen to the music you enjoy Have a cup of tea Do nothing for 5-10 minutes Take a warm bath/shower Buy yourself a little something (scented candle, chocolates, nice tea) Exercise and eat a balanced diet Wake up early and watch the sun rise
  • How to get help
    WHICH OPTION WORKS BEST FOR YOU? NH CRISIS LINE 613 225 3129. Call 7 day a week, 24 hours a day to speak to trained crisis counsellor who will listen to you and provide you with information on how to be safe, help you find space in a shelter and provide you with resources to meet your immediate needs. NH SHELTER PROGRAM: for women and children experiencing gender based violence. Our shelter can accommodate single women and women with children for up to four months. Our shelter program consists of crisis counselling, children’s program, support for housing, legal support, safety planning and much more. TRANSITION SUPPORT PROGRAM: provides support to women currently experiencing or have experienced violence and are living in the community. Our transition support worker provides short tern counselling, safety planning, advocacy, housing support, court support, legal support, food banks etc she can be reached at 613-850-8856. OTHER IQUIRES: To reach our admin staff, please call 613-225-0533. Email our shelter staff at and our staff will respond to you within 48 hours. Alternatively, you can call the assaulted women’s helpline at 1-866-863-0511. If you suspect a loved one is being abused……what can you do to help? Listen to your loved one, in a non-judgmental manner Refrain from making decisions for her and insisting that she leave the abusive relationship Ask how you can help her and respect her choices/decisions. Let her decide when to leave. Provide her will all the information she needs to leave an abusive relationship. Call our crisis line to get the information for her. Reassure her and be there for her. DO NOT confront the abuser.
  • What to expect at Nelson House
    Upon arrival: You will be welcomed into the frontline office. A bare minimum intake will be done with you. You will be asked to put your clothing into the dryer as part of our bed bug policy. You will be given a tour of the house and then shown to your private room. Your room will have linens, towels and personal care kit. You will be able to take a minute and breathe. Throughout your stay you will have: Your own private room Laundry facilities A clean environment Access to groceries and culturally specific food Access to a counsellor 24 hours, 7 days a week Access to the children’s program coordinator Access to recreation program and childcare for your children Elevator and a fully accessible shelter Outside playground Support to apply for custody, housing and any other areas Support for your immediate needs Appropriate referrals in the community An opportunity to tell your story as many times as you need and we will listen to you. Communal living environment where you will be requested to participate in resident meetings (once a week) and complete chores to help keep the shelter a healthy and clean space to live in Support from our transition support worker when you are getting ready to move out of the shelter.
Did you know?
 Family-related sexual violence is more than five times higher for women and girls than it is for men and boys.

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