If you are a woman living in an abusive relationship or think you might be, you can call our crisis line at 705-728-2544 and speak with a counsellor. The crisis line is available 24-hours, seven days a week. If you are concerned about your immediate safety or the safety of your children, call 911.


  • Half of Canadian women (51%) have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. 1
  • Women aged 15-24 are more likely to be victims of intimate partner abuse than any other age group. 2
  • Rates of intimate partner abuse is higher for women who have been in relationships for three years or less, are living common-law, or have recently separated from their partners. 3
  • A woman has already been assaulted as many as 35 times before a police report is made.
  • Violence against women occurs across all ethnic, racial, religious, economic, and age groups. 4
  • Police report that the rate of intimate partner violence is nearly 5 times higher for female victims. 5
  • Women are 3 times more likely than men to be physically injured by their intimate partners and 5 times more likely to require medical attention. 6
  • Some women are more vulnerable and are more likely to experience violence, including women with disabilities, women living in rural communities, pregnant women, and Aboriginal women.
  • Women with disabilities are estimated to be 1.5-10 times more likely to be abused than non-disabled women, depending on whether they live in a community or institutional setting. 7
  • Women living in rural communities face additional problems of isolation, absence of privacy, and in some cases, limited mobility. They may not be able to leave abusive situations because they do not have any money, they do not have access to vehicles, buses and trains do not travel through many small rural centres, and the nearest telephone may be miles away. 8
  • Women abused during pregnancy were 4 times as likely as other abused women to report having experienced very serious violence, including being beaten up, choked, threatened with a gun/knife, or sexually assaulted. 9
  • Aboriginal women are 3 times more likely to be a victim of intimate partner violence than non-Aboriginals (215 vs 7%). 10
  • In one Ontario study, 8 out of 10 Aboriginal women had experienced violence in their relationships. 11
  • Canadian women were 4 times more likely than men to be killed by a current or former partner. 12,13
  • On average, 182 females were killed every year in Canada between 1994 and 2003. 14
  • At least one to two women are murdered by a current or former partner each week in Canada. 15
  • Every year in Canada, up to 360,000 children are exposed to domestic violence. 16
  • Witnessing violence increases the chances that boys will grow up to act violently with dating and/or marital partners. For girls, it increases the chance that they will accept violence in their dating and/or marital relationships. 17
  • There is a 30%-40% overlap between children who witness domestic violence and children who experience direct physical abuse themselves. 18
  • For children who are exposed to violence, consequences can include emotional trauma, depression, injury and permanent disability, as well as other physical, psychological, and behavioural problems that can extend into adolescence and adulthood. 19
  • In 1995, it was estimated that the annual health-related costs associated with violence against women was $1.5 billion. 20
1 Statistics Canada, Violence Against Women Survey, The Daily: November 18, 1993.
2 Statistics Canada, Violence Against Women . . . by the numbers, The Daily: July 14, 2005
3 Ibid
4 Canadian Women’s Foundation, Violence Against Women Fact Sheet, 2007
5 Statistics Canada, Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends, 2006
6 Statistics Canada, Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2005
7 Health Canada, 2005
8 Government of Canada Publication, Health Issues in Rural Canada, 1992
9 Health Canada, 2004
10 General Social Survey, 2004
11 Health Canada, 2005
12 Statistics Canada, Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends, 2006
13 Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (USCR2), 2007
14 Statistics Canada, Violence Against Women in Canada . . . by the numbers, The Daily: October, 2005
15 Dauvergne, M., (2002), Homicide in Canada – 2001, Juristat 22 (7)
16 Canadian Women’s Foundation, Violence Against Women Fact Sheet, 2007
17 Health Canada, 2005
18 Ibid
19 Statistics Canada, Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2000
20 Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, 1995


Types of Abuse

Verbal Abuse


  • yelling
  • insults
  • sarcasm
  • name calling
  • swearing at their partner
  • criticism
  • sneering
  • verbal threats
  • accusations
  • ridiculing
  • mimicking
  • mocking
  • insulting friends or family.

Emotional Abuse


  • jealousy
  • isolating their partner from friends or family
  • continually checking up on their partner
  • manipulation
  • having affairs and telling their partner
  • questioning partner about activities
  • denying access to the phone
  • preventing partner from working
  • threatening to divorce
  • threatening to harm self
  • threatening suicide
  • withholding approval or affection as punishment
  • threatening to take the children

Physical Abuse


  • pushing, slapping, shoving, or grabbing,
  • pinching, pulling, biting, spanking, or spitting
  • choking, kicking, arm twisting, or burning
  • hair pulling
  • forced kneeling
  • restraining, preventing partner from leaving
  • locking partner out of house
  • attack with a weapon
  • shooting or stabbing
  • driving recklessly
  • slamming doors
  • punching walls or doors
  • abusing children or animals

Sexual Abuse


  • unwanted touching
  • sexual name calling
  • forced sex
  • hurtful sex
  • unfaithfulness
  • withholding sex as a punishment
  • insisting partner dress in a more sexual way than she wants
  • accusing partner of looking at, talking to, or having sex with another
  • forcing partner to strip when she doesn’t want to , forcing her to have sex with others, or forcing her to watch others have sex
  • unwanted sadistic sexual acts

Financial Abuse


  • being irresponsible with money
  • controlling access to money
  • hiding assets and investments
  • keeping mortgage in own name
  • not permitting the woman to have her own credit cards or bank account
  • paying all of the bills
  • insisting partner turn over pay cheque
  • providing only a small amount of money per week to buy groceries and clothes

Spiritual Abuse


  • forcing the partner to live within strict religious rules
  • insisting the partner abandon her faith
  • ridiculing the partner’s religious beliefs
  • denying their partner access to supports from her religious community
  • enforcing certain rituals on partner and children

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