Q. What is violence against women?
A. Domestic Violence or intimate partner violence is committed in a context where there is a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour. Domestic violence may include physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, financial, digital, and/or sexual abuse. It can include threats to harm past or present partners, children, family members, pets and property. The violence is used to intimidate, humiliate or frighten victims in order to control and isolate them. Domestic violence may include a single and violent act of abuse, or may include a number of emotional and behavioural acts that collectively form a pattern of abuse.
Q. What kind of relationships can suffer from domestic violence?
A. Intimate relationships vary in duration and legal formality, including current and former dating, common-law, and married couples. Intimate relationships encompass opposite and same-sex partners, and are diverse with respect to the age, race, physical ability, and socioeconomic status of partnerships. Although both women and men can be victims of domestic violence, the overwhelming majority of this violence involves men using violence against women.
Q. How can I get support if I’m a victim?
A. Support can look differently for everyone. It’s important to remember that everyone experiences Domestic Violence differently. Please contact Victim Services Huron 519-600-4108 or Womens shelter 519-524-5333 to get directive on what supports are available for you.
Q. Does domestic violence always involve assault?
A. Domestic Violence is when there is a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour. Domestic violence may include physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, financial, digital, and/or sexual abuse. It can include threats to harm past or present partners, children, family members, pets and property. The violence is used to intimidate, humiliate or frighten victims in order to control and isolate them. Domestic violence may include a single and violent act of abuse, or may include a number of emotional and behavioural acts that collectively form a pattern of abuse.
Q. When is a good time to leave an abusive partner?
A. The best time to leave your partner is when you have a plan. Having a safe location to go to is the most important thing to consider when leaving. Have a bag packed with essentials such as identification, basic necessities, and important things to you. It is important to have a support network in place when you get to your safe location to ensure there are people around you to support you through this process.
The most dangerous time for someone to leave their partner is after they have told their partner they are leaving.
Q. Why would a victim return to an abusive partner?
A. Every relationship is unique, people make a decision based on what they think is best at the time. Long standing trauma, feeling it’s in the best interest of children, financial dependency, geographical location, and we don’t just stop loving someone.
It’s no one’s decision but your own as to how you handle the situation, just know that there are resources available to support you if you do choose to leave.
Q. “They’re so sweet, they don’t hurt me all the time, it’s mostly my fault, I still love them, they needs me, I just want them to get help”
A. These are examples of statements made by someone who is experiencing Domestic violence. Please know that you are valued and are worth being treated with respect and kindness. There is no excuse for violence or exerting power and control over someone.
Q. If I don’t have the financial ability to leave, what do I do?
A. There are resources in the community that can connect you with financial income such as Ontario Works, and Ontario Disability Support Program. In addition, they are able to support with getting someone on the housing list. The Huron Women’s Shelter is also able to support women with housing through their second-stage housing program, contact the Huron Women’s Shelter to discuss eligibility.
Please see partners page for further local supports.
Q. What are the criminal code offenses involved with domestic assault?
A. Criminal Code offences include, but are not limited to homicide, assault, sexual assault, threatening death or bodily harm, forcible confinement, harassment/stalking, abduction, breaches of court orders and property-related offences.
Q. What do I do when I feel like the criminal justice system has let me down by not keeping my offender in jail?
A. There are lots of other resources that can support you and advocate for you. If you are the victim, you can call the Victim Witness Assistance Program office in Goderich to better understand the charges and conditions. In addition, you can seek support from Victim Services or the Huron Women’s Shelter to discuss safety planning. Talk to the supports you have in your life to ensure safety.
Q. If there is a no contact order in place between my abuser and I, what do I do?
A. If your abusers attempt to contact you in any way, you need to call 911 right away. This is a breach of their conditions. You can also notify the OPP non-emergency line or contact their probation officer. It is important to remember that only the people named in conditions are the ones that can call in the breach.
During COVID-19 our partners continue to provide services to support members of Huron County affected by violence.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger from violence, call 911.
For emergency shelter and safety planning call Huron Women’s Shelter’s 24/7 information and support line: 1-800-265-5506.