Home > Ending Violence > Ending Domestic Abuse

This document was published under a previous government.

Ending Domestic Abuse

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour used by one person to gain power and control over another person with whom he/she has or has had an intimate relationship.

The behaviour may include physical violence, sexual, emotional, and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking, and using electronic devices to harass and control.

Who is affected by domestic violence?

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, whatever their age, race, economic status, religion, sexual orientation, or education.

While men can be victims of domestic violence, women represent the overwhelming majority of victims of such violence. It is consistently identified as one of the most common forms of violence against women in Canada. It robs a woman of her health, her dignity and the confidence to realize her full potential.

Most abuse occurs in intimate heterosexual relationships; however it can occur in gay and lesbian relationships as well.

Why is it important to address domestic violence?

Everyone has the right to live in safety and with dignity, free from intimidation and the threat of violence.

While 80 per cent of domestic violence victims tell family or friends of their situation, only 30 per cent report the abuse to the police.

Warning signs of abuse and what to do to help

The warning signs

If you are concerned about someone you think is being abused, here are some of things to look for.

How to help

Here are some ways you can help:

If you are the victim of domestic violence

If you are the victim of domestic violence, remember it is never your fault. You’re not alone. Tell someone you trust. Help is available.

Learn more about public awareness programs and about training programs for professionals and service providers.