Relationship abuse


Dating violence facts

  • Dating violence is the highest among the 15-24 age group, making up 43% of all incidents of dating violence.
  • Young women between the ages of 15-19 experience 10 times more violence in relationships then young men.
  • 13% of girls who said they have been in a relationship report being physically abused.
  • More than 1 in 4 girls in a relationship (26%) report being verbally abused.
  • 1 in 3 youth report knowing a friend or peer who has been physically abused by their partner.
  • 62% of youth (age 11-14) who have been in a relationship say they know friends who have been verbally abused.
  • 1 in 5 girls who have been in a relationship have had their boyfriend threaten violence or self-harm if presented with a break-up.
  • Young women between the ages of 15 to 24 are killed nearly three times the rate for all female victims of domestic homicide.
  • 66% of all female victims of sexual assault are under the age of twenty-four, and 11% are under the age of eleven.
  • Youth under 18 represented 22% of the Canadian population in 2004 but made up 58% of victims of sexual offences.

Warning signs

  • Excessive jealousy
  • Constantly checking in with you or making you check in with him or her
  • Attempts to isolate you from friends and family
  • Insulting or putting down people you care about
  • Is too serious about the relationship too quickly
  • Has had a lot of bad prior relationships, and blames all of the problems on the previous partners
  • Is very controlling, which may include giving you orders, telling you what to wear and trying to make all of the decisions for you
  • Blames you when he or she treats you badly by telling you all of the ways you provoked him or her
  • Does not take responsibility for own actions
  • Has an explosive temper (“blows up” a lot)

Causes of violence

  • stress

  • provocation by the intimate partner

  • economic hardship, such as prolonged unemployment

  • depression

  • desperation

  • jealousy

  • anger

Treatment of violence

  • Couples Counseling
  • Counseling
  • Family counseling

Prevention of violence

  • Number One

Be a nurturing parent. Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable of following their dreams. Learn about how children grow and mature and have realistic expectations of what your child can and cannot do.

  • Number Two

Help a friend, neighbor or relative. Being a parent isn’t easy. Someone you know may be struggling with his or her parenting responsibilities. Offer a helping hand- take care of the children, so the parent(s) can rest or spend time together.

  • Number Three
Help yourself. When the big and little problems of everyday life pile up to the point you feel overwhelmed and out of control – take time out. Don’t take it out onyour kid. Take a deep breath. Turn on some music. Know who to call for help, and keep the numbers next to your phone.

  • Number Four
Respect kids. Treat them the same way you want to be treated.

  • Number Five
Get involved. Advocate for services to families. Help to establish parenting groups in your community. Ask your community leaders, clergy, library and schools to develop services to meet the needs of healthy children and families.

  • Number Six
Help to develop parenting resources at your local library – films, books, and information.

  • Number Seven
Promote programs in schools. Teaching children, parents and teachers prevention strategies can help to keep children safe.

  • Number Eight
Monitor your child’s television and video viewing. Watching violent films and TV programs harms young children. It scares them, and teaches children that aggression is a good way to handle frustration and solve problems.

  • Number Nine
Volunteer at a local child abuse program. There are many family support, crisis need volunteers to help families under stress. Contact your local United Way office or look in a telephone directory for agencies in your community. If you can’t give time, support the program with a donation.

  • Number Ten
Report suspected abuse or neglect. Keeping children safe is the responsibility of every adult in the community.