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Types of Abuse

Emotional Assault

A pattern of destructive behaviour that attacks a person’s sense of self-worth and confidence which are broken down into 7 forms of emotional abuse:

  • Degrading: Messages of not being good enough (humiliation, insults)
  • Ignoring: Ignore or gives mixed messages
  • Isolating: Cut off from normal social interaction: become emotionally dependant
  • Terrorizing: Causes Fear
  • Corrupting: Encouraging illegal, destructive behaviours
  • Exploiting: Using the other person for social or economic gain
  • Controlling: Dominates and controls – often motivated by jealousy

Physical Assault

The intentional use of force, or threats of force, on another person in attempt to control behaviour, intimidate, or punish and can include:

  • Scratching, punching, biting or kicking someone
  • Throwing objects at the other person
  • Pushing or pulling someone
  • Grabbing someone’s clothing
  • Using a weapon
  • Preventing someone from looking away
  • Preventing someone from leaving a place
  • Strangulation

Sexual Assault

The force of any form of sexual activity on someone else without that person’s voluntary *consent.

*Consent: Consent is freely given, willing, non-pressured agreement to engage in any type of sexual activity.


It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive. It can take six months to a year, or even longer to see all of the different personality traits of your partner. Red Flags are indicators of potential abuse.

Your Partner May…

  • Control all of the finances or do things to ensure you are financially reliant
  • Make jokes that are intended to make you uncomfortable ie) threaten to take the children/pets if you were to ever leave / joke about assaulting you
  • Encourage you to stop spending time with family or friends
  • Demand that you no longer spend time with family or friends
  • Makes demands or accusations regarding your appearance/dress
  • Be Argumentative/moody/combative
  • Accuse you of flirting or cheating without reasonable cause
  • Share your personal information/secrets with others
  • Ignore you in certain situations and is attentive in others
  • Use passive aggressive or manipulative behavior to get what they want from you
  • Yell, throw objects or otherwise make you afraid
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, a pet or themselves when upset
  • Intentionally scare you or make you nervous
  • Emotionally, Physically or Sexually Assault you and promise it will never happen again
  • Blame you for their outbursts or abuse
  • Approve or justify others’ violent behavior
  • Insist on making all the plans when you hang out
  • Constantly check up on you – where you are, what you are doing



Making a safety plan involves identifying the steps you can take to increase your safety and helps to prepare you and your children in advance for the possibility of further violence.

Learn more about Safety Planning […]