Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can manifest itself in different ways; thus a victim may suffer one or several forms of violence mentioned below. If you recognize that you experience any of these, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is it?

Domestic violence can take many forms: psychological, verbal, physical, sexual, economic, social and even spiritual violence. A person can be the victim of one or more forms of violence, concomitantly or not. Likewise, the forms of violence perpetrated by a partner can change over time. Domestic violence, in any form, is used for the purpose of controlling the other person.

What is it?

Domestic violence can take many forms: psychological, verbal, physical, sexual, economic, social and even spiritual violence. A person can be the victim of one or more forms of violence, concomitantly or not. Likewise, the forms of violence perpetrated by a partner can change over time. Domestic violence, in any form, is used for the purpose of controlling the other person.

Types of violence

Verbal violence manifests itself in insults, yelling, blaming, criticism used specifically for the purpose of humiliating, controlling or intimidating a person. Threatening and blackmail are also manifestations of verbal abuse.

Verbal abuse can be difficult to identify because it is often taken lightly and trivialized. Here are some clues to recognizing verbal abuse:

Sarcasm

Sarcasm manifests itself in ironic and mean words. It is a form of humor made with the aim of degrading the other. An example of sarcasm is praising someone while using a bitter and emotionless tone.

Insults

Insults are used for the purpose of passing negative judgment on someone. They are used to denigrate a person’s physique, their intelligence, their private life or those around them.

Degrading or humiliating remarks

These are words made with the intention of humiliating or degrading a person. This type of comment sometimes has a sexual connotation and violates human dignity. Degrading or humiliating remarks can cause psychological distress to those to whom they are addressed.

Screams or orders

This is when a person raises their tone while adopting an aggressive and threatening tone. These are interjections to control you and prevent you from expressing yourself, from expressing your opinion on a situation or a person. Often orders are carried out by the victim because she fears physical violence. This helps to create a climate of fear and insecurity.

Psychological violence consists of denigrating a person by undermining their self-esteem and their values, criticizing them, refusing all forms of communication with them, ignoring them, denigrating them or threatening them. It is used for the purpose of maintaining control over an individual.

The relationship between the person who suffers and the person who manifests psychological violence is characterized by lack of respect. Here are some clues to detect signs of emotional abuse:

  • Your partner makes you doubt yourself
  • You have the impression that your emotions and perceptions are being manipulated
  • Your partner isolates you from those around you
  • The other is constantly criticizing you and putting you down
  • You frequently fear your partner’s reactions
    Etc.

On the other hand, psychological violence is a very subtle form of violence that can be difficult for the victim and their loved ones to identify. Victims often feel a form of injustice in the way they are treated. By being aware of certain clues, you will be able to better identify and detect behaviors that suggest any form of psychological violence. Here are a few examples:

Constant criticism or criticism

They manifest themselves in repeated negative judgments or appreciations against the victim, his behavior, his physique, etc. They are derogatory remarks made with a view to harming a person, causing shame or regret.

Blackmail

It is a means of psychological pressure to exert some form of control over a person.

False accusations

These are accusations without proof that cover up the accuser’s bad intentions. They can be used to justify aggressive, deceptive and manipulative behavior.

Threat

They are words to express the intention to harm, to hurt a person, to take away children, etc. They help to control the victim and encourage him to act in a way defined by the aggressor.

Silence

These are long or short periods of silence imposed by the aggressor. This silence serves to create a climate of tension in the couple.

Indifference

It is ignoring the victim, despising her by pretending not to see or hear her.

Associated with other forms of violence, psychological violence is found in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or sexual exploitation. It can also be present in a context where the victim is harassed.

Sexual violence is committed for the purpose of dominating a person and subjugating them to their own desires. This violence can be characterized by sexual touching, harassment, denigration, unwanted relationships or sexual practices. Among the different forms of violence that exist, sexual violence is the least reported. This can be explained, among other things, by the fact that the victim has a close bond with the perpetrator, by a feeling of guilt or by fear of the justice system.

Sexual violence is defined as any act without consent, with or without physical contact, hence the importance of obtaining the consent of your partner before starting or continuing any act of a sexual nature.

To keep the person in control, the abuser may use other forms of violence (psychological, verbal, physical) in conjunction with sexual violence.

Sexual violence can take very subtle forms. Here are some examples of behaviors that are part of it:

  • Sending sexual content by email or text message without first obtaining the consent of the other party.
  • Touching, rubbing the genitals against a person without having obtained their consent or touching the genitals or breasts of another person without their consent
  • Exposing your genitals without the consent of the other (exhibitionism)
  • Observe a person in his privacy, without his consent (voyeurism)
  • Manipulating a person, blackmailing a person for sexual favors
  • Forcing a person to view pornographic content
  • Forcing a person to stroke or masturbate
  • Take off your condom during sex without your partner’s consent
  • Compare and downgrade the other person’s physical / sexual attributes
  • Sharing intimate photos of your partner without their permission
  • Etc.

 

Although very widespread, little is known about economic violence. It consists of exercising some form of control over the victim’s finances or household income. The abuser can force his partner to work or, on the contrary, forbid her to do so. In general, whether or not she may have a job, she has no control over family income and expenses. Thus, it is completely deprived of any financial autonomy.

Economic violence can be present between individuals from the same social class (rich or poor) just as it can affect partners with unequal income.

Here are some examples of cases of economic violence:

  • Your partner partially or completely controls your finances (your money or your sources of income)
  • Your partner controls your budget by meticulously monitoring all your expenses
  • Your partner encourages you to get into debt or accumulates debt on your behalf
  • Your partner is forcing you to pay all of their expenses or pay them money
  • Your partner reviews all your expenses You must be accountable for each of your expenses
  • Your partner is preventing you from having a bank account
  • You are deprived of certain essential goods (medicine, food, water)
  • You are prevented from working or studying
  • Your partner tricks you into stealing or cheating

Physical violence is manifested by violent acts used to harm the physical integrity of a person. This form of violence can have serious consequences for the victim’s state of health. These consequences can include physical and psychological injuries, head trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and more.

Victims of physical violence tend to cover up their injury or lie when asked questions. They can claim to have been the victims of an accident. In addition, they tend to defend their aggressor and to justify their act (s) with all kinds of reasoning: fear, jealousy, consumption, stress, etc.

Here are some clues to identify cases of physical violence among victims:

  • She wears clothes that cover her whole body even in summer
  • She shows signs of anxiety and hypervigilance (eg frequent startles)
    It protects the body or face when a person makes a rapid movement
  • She justifies herself by saying that she is clumsy when asked about the origin of her bruises

The following are examples of physically violent behavior:

  • Your partner shakes or holds your arms
  • Your partner crushes you against a wall and immobilizes you
  • Your partner pushes you or slaps you
  • Your partner pulls your hair, bites you, or hits you
  • Your partner is punching or kicking you
  • Your partner is trying to strangle you
  • Your partner throws things at you or injures you with any weapon or object
  • Your partner hits the walls / table to scare you

Social violence manifests itself when an individual isolates their partner by depriving her of social ties. This form of violence sometimes develops gradually until the woman finds herself all alone and completely isolated from her social network. In this sense, the perpetrator exercises, by various means, total control over all aspects of the victim’s life.

Collectively, this violence is based on passing judgment on a woman’s social image by humiliating and denigrating her in the presence of other people. In this sense, social violence affects the way in which the victim perceives herself. It can also damage a woman’s reputation. This results in a form of psychological distress where the victim finds herself alone with her attacker without being able to seek help from those around her.

The perpetrator challenges the victim’s friends, family and co-workers. Likewise, he can question her whereabouts, exercise control over her movements and over the people with whom she chats. Sometimes she is prohibited from working, learning, going out and participating in personal activity. In order to have better control over his partner, the abuser can also seize identity papers, passports and other legal documents.

Here are some examples of social violence:

  • Your partner constantly denigrates your friends and forbids you to see them
  • Your partner is preventing you from going out without him
  • Your partner criticizes your family and limits your contact with them
  • Your partner criticizes your job or your colleagues. He makes you understand that he would prefer you to stay home.
  • Your partner controls your hobbies and interests
  • When you go out, your partner demands you tell him who you are with and your whereabouts
  • Your partner reads your emails, filters your calls or takes control of your social networks
  • When you go out, you receive texts or calls from your partner to find out where you are
  • Your partner is very jealous and accuses you of cheating on him without proof

Spiritual violence is less known, but is also present in some unhealthy relationships. It consists of denigrating a person’s spiritual beliefs and practices or even banning them from going to places of worship. The partner can also use their religious beliefs to better manipulate their partner
(ex.: emphasizing the dishonor or sin associated with a divorce). Finally, the perpetrator can try to impose their spiritual beliefs onto their partner by forcing a membership in a religious order, or community.

The concept of coercive control is defined by repeated behaviours, subtle or not, which aim to deprive the victim of their individual freedoms, by various means. Thus, the victim can be deprived of their rights, their income and social network. The perpetrator monitors and regulates their partner’s daily life in various spheres. It defines a set of rules that must be respected, under penalty of explicit or implied threats. Finally, manifestations of violence allow the perpetrator to exercise greater control over their partner.

Here are some manifestations of coercive control:

  • Your partner monitors your movements, isolates you from your network and limits your autonomy
  • Your partner exercises control over various aspects of your life: your sexuality, your money, your outings, your physical appearance, your health, your surroundings, etc.
  • Your partner is rigid about traditional gender roles, depriving you of many rights and freedoms
  • Your partner makes threats against your children or pets
  • Your partner uses psychological attacks and / or ultimatums through passive-aggressive behavior to limit your freedom of action
  • Your partner uses bullying and creates a climate of fear to gain control over your actions
    Currently, a few European countries recognize coercive control as a criminal offense.

Some of the information found above comes from the article: “For an integration of coercive control in the practices of intervention in matters of domestic violence in Quebec” written by Isabelle Côté and Simon Lapierre (review Intervention, 2021, number 153) Consulted August 13, 2021.

Cycle of domestic violence

Most of the time, when domestic violence is integrated into a logic of control by one of the partners, it develops imperceptibly and gradually in a cycle of violence. Its gradual progression makes it difficult to detect by anyone. In reality, the relatives of the victim are not always aware of the situation of conjugal violence that she suffers, because of the control that the spouse imposes on her.

What is the cycle of domestic violence?

Domestic violence frequently manifests itself in a cycle called the “cycle of domestic violence”. This cycle is subdivided into four main stages: tension, aggression, justification and reconciliation. This cycle is said to be sneaky because it develops bit by bit, long before the repercussions are apparent. Despite the insidious nature of the cycle of domestic violence, victims end up moving in an atmosphere of fear instigated by their partners. They often experience feelings such as fear, shame, guilt, doubt and helplessness.

  • The cycle of domestic violence is created by the aggressor and serves to maintain his domination, his control over the victim.
  • In an abusive relationship, this cycle recurs over and over again and in an increasingly intense and accelerated manner.
  • The various manifestations of domestic violence tend to multiply over time, in all their forms. In some cases, domestic violence can lead to spousal murder. The more it reproduces, the shorter the phase of “reconciliation”, until its complete disappearance.

The 4 phases of the domestic violence cycle

1. Tension

The aggressor manifests anger abuse. He threatens his victim with his gaze and creates a heavy atmosphere characterized by silence. The victim feels anxious, tries to improve the atmosphere, and watches over his own actions and words.

2. Aggression

The abuser abuses the other person verbally, psychologically, physically, sexually or economically. The victim then feels humiliated, saddened and considers the situation to be very unfair.

3. Justification

The abuser makes excuses to explain his behaviour. The victim tries to take his explanations into account, to help him improve. However, she doubts her own ideas and believes she is responsible for the situation.

4. Reconciliation

The abuser asks for forgiveness, brings up the possibility of therapy or threatens to kill himself. The victim gives him another chance, helps him, perceives his efforts and changes his own habits.

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Verbal violence manifests itself in insults, yelling, blaming, criticism used specifically for the purpose of humiliating, controlling or intimidating a person. Threatening and blackmail are also manifestations of verbal abuse.

Verbal abuse can be difficult to identify because it is often taken lightly and trivialized. Here are some clues to recognizing verbal abuse:

Sarcasm

Sarcasm manifests itself in ironic and mean words. It is a form of humor made with the aim of degrading the other. An example of sarcasm is praising someone while using a bitter and emotionless tone.

Insults

Insults are used for the purpose of passing negative judgment on someone. They are used to denigrate a person’s physique, their intelligence, their private life or those around them.

Degrading or humiliating remarks

These are words made with the intention of humiliating or degrading a person. This type of comment sometimes has a sexual connotation and violates human dignity. Degrading or humiliating remarks can cause psychological distress to those to whom they are addressed.

Screams or orders

This is when a person raises their tone while adopting an aggressive and threatening tone. These are interjections to control you and prevent you from expressing yourself, from expressing your opinion on a situation or a person. Often orders are carried out by the victim because she fears physical violence. This helps to create a climate of fear and insecurity.

Psychological violence consists of denigrating a person by undermining their self-esteem and their values, criticizing them, refusing all forms of communication with them, ignoring them, denigrating them or threatening them. It is used for the purpose of maintaining control over an individual.

The relationship between the person who suffers and the person who manifests psychological violence is characterized by lack of respect. Here are some clues to detect signs of emotional abuse:

  • Your partner makes you doubt yourself
  • You have the impression that your emotions and perceptions are being manipulated
  • Your partner isolates you from those around you
  • The other is constantly criticizing you and putting you down
  • You frequently fear your partner’s reactions
    Etc.

On the other hand, psychological violence is a very subtle form of violence that can be difficult for the victim and their loved ones to identify. Victims often feel a form of injustice in the way they are treated. By being aware of certain clues, you will be able to better identify and detect behaviors that suggest any form of psychological violence. Here are a few examples:

Constant criticism or criticism

They manifest themselves in repeated negative judgments or appreciations against the victim, his behavior, his physique, etc. They are derogatory remarks made with a view to harming a person, causing shame or regret.

Blackmail

It is a means of psychological pressure to exert some form of control over a person.

False accusations

These are accusations without proof that cover up the accuser’s bad intentions. They can be used to justify aggressive, deceptive and manipulative behavior.

Threat

They are words to express the intention to harm, to hurt a person, to take away children, etc. They help to control the victim and encourage him to act in a way defined by the aggressor.

Silence

These are long or short periods of silence imposed by the aggressor. This silence serves to create a climate of tension in the couple.

Indifference

It is ignoring the victim, despising her by pretending not to see or hear her.

Associated with other forms of violence, psychological violence is found in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or sexual exploitation. It can also be present in a context where the victim is harassed.

Sexual violence is committed for the purpose of dominating a person and subjugating them to their own desires. This violence can be characterized by sexual touching, harassment, denigration, unwanted relationships or sexual practices. Among the different forms of violence that exist, sexual violence is the least reported. This can be explained, among other things, by the fact that the victim has a close bond with the perpetrator, by a feeling of guilt or by fear of the justice system.

Sexual violence is defined as any act without consent, with or without physical contact, hence the importance of obtaining the consent of your partner before starting or continuing any act of a sexual nature.

To keep the person in control, the abuser may use other forms of violence (psychological, verbal, physical) in conjunction with sexual violence.

Sexual violence can take very subtle forms. Here are some examples of behaviors that are part of it:

  • Sending sexual content by email or text message without first obtaining the consent of the other party.
  • Touching, rubbing the genitals against a person without having obtained their consent or touching the genitals or breasts of another person without their consent
  • Exposing your genitals without the consent of the other (exhibitionism)
  • Observe a person in his privacy, without his consent (voyeurism)
  • Manipulating a person, blackmailing a person for sexual favors
  • Forcing a person to view pornographic content
  • Forcing a person to stroke or masturbate
  • Take off your condom during sex without your partner’s consent
  • Compare and downgrade the other person’s physical / sexual attributes
  • Sharing intimate photos of your partner without their permission
  • Etc.

Although very widespread, little is known about economic violence. It consists of exercising some form of control over the victim’s finances or household income. The abuser can force his partner to work or, on the contrary, forbid her to do so. In general, whether or not she may have a job, she has no control over family income and expenses. Thus, it is completely deprived of any financial autonomy.

Economic violence can be present between individuals from the same social class (rich or poor) just as it can affect partners with unequal income.

Here are some examples of cases of economic violence:

  • Your partner partially or completely controls your finances (your money or your sources of income)
  • Your partner controls your budget by meticulously monitoring all your expenses
  • Your partner encourages you to get into debt or accumulates debt on your behalf
  • Your partner is forcing you to pay all of their expenses or pay them money
  • Your partner reviews all your expenses You must be accountable for each of your expenses
  • Your partner is preventing you from having a bank account
  • You are deprived of certain essential goods (medicine, food, water)
  • You are prevented from working or studying
  • Your partner tricks you into stealing or cheating

Physical violence is manifested by violent acts used to harm the physical integrity of a person. This form of violence can have serious consequences for the victim’s state of health. These consequences can include physical and psychological injuries, head trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and more.

Victims of physical violence tend to cover up their injury or lie when asked questions. They can claim to have been the victims of an accident. In addition, they tend to defend their aggressor and to justify their act (s) with all kinds of reasoning: fear, jealousy, consumption, stress, etc.

Here are some clues to identify cases of physical violence among victims:

  • She wears clothes that cover her whole body even in summer
  • She shows signs of anxiety and hypervigilance (eg frequent startles)
    It protects the body or face when a person makes a rapid movement
  • She justifies herself by saying that she is clumsy when asked about the origin of her bruises

The following are examples of physically violent behavior:

  • Your partner shakes or holds your arms
  • Your partner crushes you against a wall and immobilizes you
  • Your partner pushes you or slaps you
  • Your partner pulls your hair, bites you, or hits you
  • Your partner is punching or kicking you
  • Your partner is trying to strangle you
  • Your partner throws things at you or injures you with any weapon or object
  • Your partner hits the walls / table to scare you

Social violence manifests itself when an individual isolates their partner by depriving her of social ties. This form of violence sometimes develops gradually until the woman finds herself all alone and completely isolated from her social network. In this sense, the perpetrator exercises, by various means, total control over all aspects of the victim’s life.

Collectively, this violence is based on passing judgment on a woman’s social image by humiliating and denigrating her in the presence of other people. In this sense, social violence affects the way in which the victim perceives herself. It can also damage a woman’s reputation. This results in a form of psychological distress where the victim finds herself alone with her attacker without being able to seek help from those around her.

The perpetrator challenges the victim’s friends, family and co-workers. Likewise, he can question her whereabouts, exercise control over her movements and over the people with whom she chats. Sometimes she is prohibited from working, learning, going out and participating in personal activity. In order to have better control over his partner, the abuser can also seize identity papers, passports and other legal documents.

Here are some examples of social violence:

  • Your partner constantly denigrates your friends and forbids you to see them
  • Your partner is preventing you from going out without him
  • Your partner criticizes your family and limits your contact with them
  • Your partner criticizes your job or your colleagues. He makes you understand that he would prefer you to stay home.
  • Your partner controls your hobbies and interests
  • When you go out, your partner demands you tell him who you are with and your whereabouts
  • Your partner reads your emails, filters your calls or takes control of your social networks
  • When you go out, you receive texts or calls from your partner to find out where you are
  • Your partner is very jealous and accuses you of cheating on him without proof

Spiritual violence is less known, but is also present in some unhealthy relationships. It consists of denigrating a person’s spiritual beliefs and practices or even banning them from going to places of worship. The partner can also use their religious beliefs to better manipulate their partner
(ex.: emphasizing the dishonor or sin associated with a divorce). Finally, the perpetrator can try to impose their spiritual beliefs onto their partner by forcing a membership in a religious order, or community.

The concept of coercive control is defined by repeated behaviours, subtle or not, which aim to deprive the victim of their individual freedoms, by various means. Thus, the victim can be deprived of their rights, their income and social network. The perpetrator monitors and regulates their partner’s daily life in various spheres. It defines a set of rules that must be respected, under penalty of explicit or implied threats. Finally, manifestations of violence allow the perpetrator to exercise greater control over their partner.

Here are some manifestations of coercive control:

  • Your partner monitors your movements, isolates you from your network and limits your autonomy
  • Your partner exercises control over various aspects of your life: your sexuality, your money, your outings, your physical appearance, your health, your surroundings, etc.
  • Your partner is rigid about traditional gender roles, depriving you of many rights and freedoms
  • Your partner makes threats against your children or pets
  • Your partner uses psychological attacks and / or ultimatums through passive-aggressive behavior to limit your freedom of action
  • Your partner uses bullying and creates a climate of fear to gain control over your actions
    Currently, a few European countries recognize coercive control as a criminal offense.

Some of the information found above comes from the article: “For an integration of coercive control in the practices of intervention in matters of domestic violence in Quebec” written by Isabelle Côté and Simon Lapierre (review Intervention, 2021, number 153) Consulted August 13, 2021.

Cycle of domestic violence

Most of the time, when domestic violence is integrated into a logic of control by one of the partners, it develops imperceptibly and gradually in a cycle of underhand violence. Its gradual progression makes it difficult to detect by anyone. In reality, the relatives of the victim are not always aware of the situation of conjugal violence that she suffers, because of the control that the spouse imposes on her.

What is the cycle of domestic violence?

Domestic violence frequently manifests itself in a cycle called the “cycle of domestic violence”. This cycle is subdivided into four main stages: tension, aggression, justification and reconciliation. This cycle is said to be sneaky because it develops bit by bit, long before the repercussions are apparent. Despite the insidious nature of the cycle of domestic violence, victims end up moving in an atmosphere of fear instigated by their partner. They often experience feelings such as fear, shame, guilt, doubt and helplessness.

  • The cycle of domestic violence is created by the aggressor and serves to maintain his domination, his control over the victim.
  • In an abusive relationship, this cycle recurs over and over again and in an increasingly intense and accelerated manner.
  • The various manifestations of domestic violence tend to multiply over time, in all their forms. In some cases, domestic violence can lead to spousal murder. The more it reproduces, the shorter the phase of “reconciliation”, until its complete disappearance.

The 4 phases of the domestic violence cycle

1. Tension

The aggressor manifests anger abuse. He threatens his victim with his gaze and creates a heavy atmosphere characterized by silence. The victim feels anxious, tries to improve the atmosphere, and watches over his own actions and words.

2. Aggression

The abuser abuses the other person verbally, psychologically, physically, sexually or economically. The victim then feels humiliated, saddened and considers the situation to be very unfair.

3. Justification

The abuser makes excuses to explain his behavior. The victim tries to take his explanations into account, to help him improve. However, she doubts her own ideas and believes she is responsible for the situation.

4. Reconciliation

The abuser asks for forgiveness, brings up the possibility of therapy or threatens to kill himself. The victim gives him another chance, helps him, perceives his efforts and changes his own habits.

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Domestic violence must stop now

According to Statistics Canada, nearly 3 in 10 women who have ever been married or living common-law have been physically or sexually assaulted by their partner. Domestic violence is a crime and is against the law under the Criminal Code of Canada which prohibits harming or threatening to harm another person.

If you see signs of domestic violence in yourself or your loved ones, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Together we can prevent, stop this scourge that destroys lives.

Source Statistics Canada

Victims

If You Are A Victim Of Domestic Violence, What Should You Do?

  • Each person’s situation is different and unique. If you’re feeling uncomfortable in your relationship or wondering what’s going on, then it’s time to talk to someone.

  • Someone you trust and feel comfortable sharing what you are going through (a close friend, family member, person in your community, for example: a nurse or a social worker).

  • There are many people in your community who can help you and this is the first step in talking about what you are going through.

  • If for any reason you feel unsafe, call 911.

    Marguerite de Champlain Pavilion: 450-656-1946

Witnesses

If You Witness Domestic Violence, What Should You Do?

  • Domestic violence has no limits and anyone can be a victim. Each person’s situation is different and unique. If you are a witness to domestic violence, you will find below one way you can help the victim.
  • First, make sure the woman’s safety is not compromised.
  • If you are aware that someone is experiencing violence, explain to them that they are not alone and that violence is unacceptable.
  • Encourage the person to contact the Marguerite de Champlain Pavilion. She can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A worker will talk to her about her needs
    and explain the services that are available.

 

At any time, if you are afraid for his safety
or for your own safety, call 911

Marguerite de Champlain Pavilion: 450-656-1946