Abuse: Questions & Answers
Q. What is abuse?
A. Abuse can take many forms – physical, emotional/psychological, sexual, financial or neglect. The goal of an abuser is to frighten and control you. If you feel unsafe and are experiencing any of these forms of abuse, you live with violence.
Q. What is violence against women?
A. In the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the term violence against women refers to “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life” Violence against women is also a manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and the prevention of women’s full advancement.
Q. What are some of the common forms of violence against women?
A. Violence against women can take many forms. It is most commonly divided into the following types:
Physical violence or abuse
The most obvious ranges from pushing and shoving to hitting, beating, physical abuse with a weapon, torture, mutilation and murder.
Encompasses various tactics to undermine an individual’s self-confidence, such as yelling, not letting you see your friends or family, insults, mockeries, threats, abusive language, humiliation, harassment, contempt, deliberate deprivation of emotional care or isolation.
Sexual violence or abuse
Any form of non-consensual sexual activity (i. e. forced on an individual) ranging form harassment, unwanted sexual touching, to rape. This form of violence also includes incest.
Financial violence or abuse
Encompasses various tactics for total or partial control of an individual’s finances, inheritance or employment income. It may include denying access to money or one’s own financial records and knowledge about personal investments, income or debt, or preventing a partner from taking employment outside the home, or engaging in other activity that would lead to financial independence.
Includes failure to provide for an individual’s basic needs and human rights, and the refusal or delay in the provision of food or medical care.
Women who have experienced abuse or violence require access to a full range of services:
- Emergency shelter
- Emotional support
- Short/long term counselling
- Legal assistance and advocacy
- Financial assistance
- Affordable housing
It is essential that these services be provided in a manner that validates the women’s experience and empowers her to undertake her own healing process. Accessibility to these services is crucial to the healing and rebuilding processes.
If you are experiencing any form of abuse, call us at 1-866-863-0511