Violence against women and children is a pervasive and harmful behavior that exists in our society. Every person has a right to live free from violence, but in order to achieve this, the cycle of violence must be broken. Abuse can happen to anyone, but women with multiple intersectional identities are most vulnerable.

We recognize that abuse is much more than physical. It can also be emotional, financial, psychological, sexual, spiritual and verbal โ€“ or a combination of these. It is also considered abuse for children to witness any form of domestic or intimate partner violence in Nova Scotia. Child abuse, sexual assault, threats, stalking, human trafficking, and the withholding of basic necessities are all types of abuse that exist in our communities.

Recognizing the Signs in Someone You Know

  • Bruises, unexplained, frequent injuries that may be attempted to cover up
  • Change in behaviours, such as withdrawing from social supports
  • Not showing up for work, important social events or family gatherings
  • Extreme concern with meeting partnerโ€™s strict expectations
  • Appearing tethered to their phone, continual check ins and the need to report their whereabouts or asking permission before agreeing on their own
  • A noticeable increase in anxiety, jumpy and on edge reactions
  • The partner espouses strict gendered language and beliefs about the roles of man and woman. May joke about what might happen if they step out of line.
  • Tries to track down their partner, may show up unannounced to check in

Warning Signs You Are in an Abusive Relationship

  • Belittling you, makes accusations (ie. Cheating), screams at you
  • Tells you what to wear and how to look, says hurtful things about your appearances
  • Threatens to harm you, people you care about, pets, or themselves
  • Punches the wall, throws objects, acts in a physically aggressive manner
  • Controls the money, makes you beg for funds, refuses to provide basic necessities and/or steals money from you or your friends
  • Kicks you out of the car or the house, abandons you in places you donโ€™t know
  • Decides who you are able to spend time with, embarrasses you publicly
  • Physically attacks you (hitting, pushing, punching, biting, chocking, weapons etc)
  • Prevents you from eating, sleeping, or getting medical care
  • Forces you to have sex when you donโ€™t want to
  • Refuses to respect your sexual boundaries and/or refuses to use protection

Recognizing Child Abuse or Neglect

  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises
  • Extreme behaviors, such as excessive crying, truancy or running away
  • Poor hygiene and unsuitable clothing
  • Excessive fear of parent(s), caregiver(s) or going home
  • Depression or excessive crying
  • Poor peer relationships or inability to relate to children of the same age
  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Constant hunger, tiredness or lack of energy
  • Attention-seeking behaviors

PDF Link: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/signs.pdf






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