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Domestic violence

What is domestic violence? Types of abuseMyths and realitiesWhat to do in an emergencyWhere to find support

What is domestic violence ?

A consistent strategy (pattern) of control and domination that undermines the dignity, safety and integrity of one’s partner. This isn’t a loss of control, but a way of manipulating situations to one’s advantage.

Spousal abuse usually begins during the first year of the relationship, and generally escalates over time. Abusive behaviours can be obvious or very subtle, and they may not always leave any visible signs.

«She/They should apologize too.»
«She/They make me mad.»
«If she/they love me, she/they will accept me as I am.»

Types of abuse

Les formes de violence sont les mêmes que celles que l’on retrouve dans les relations hétérosexuelles.

  • Psychological: Behaviour or words aimed at emotionally or mentally harming a partner.
  • Harassment: Repeated and unwanted direct or indirect contact that creates fear or insecurity. For example: phone calls, text messages, emails, social media, work visits, etc.
  • Gaslighting: Manipulation that causes someone to doubt their own perceptions, beliefs and memories.
  • Lesbophobic violence: Outing or threatening to out, insulting lesbian communities
  • Verbal: Insults, threats, swearing or humiliation
  • Economic: Making one’s partner financially dependent, controlling expenses, unfair division of financial responsibilities
  • Sexual: Physical or verbal behaviours aimed at forcing the partner into unwanted practices or depriving her of sex
  • Physical: Hitting, shoving, grabbing, choking or assault with or without apparent injury, murder

« You’re too feminine to be a lesbian ».

« Consider yourself lucky : I’ll go out with you even thought you’re trans »

« Prove to me that you really love me. I’ve been cheated on by a bi woman in the past »

Try our quiz Myths and realities.

What to do in an emergency

If you think you will need to leave your home quickly, prepare an emergency kit that includes:

  • Your (and your children’s) most valuable documents: health and social insurance cards, your driver’s licence, passport, visa, birth certificate, health booklet;
  • Your (and your children’s) medication and prescriptions;
  • Your bank cards and cash;
  • Your phone (make sure you disable the GPS function);
  • A list of support resources and phone numbers of friends and family members;
  • An extra set of keys;
  • A change of clothes (for you and your children).

If you know a woman or non-binary person who is in a domestic violence situation, offer to keep an emergency kit in your home.