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Abuse or violence in a relationship can take many forms and has many names - spousal abuse, wife abuse, and family violence are just a few.
Domestic Violence is any form of violent or abusive behaviour that happens during a relationship or after a relationship ends. It is not just limited to physical or sexual violence but exists on a continuum that can include intimidation, mental or emotional abuse, financial exploitation, stalking and harassment.
While it is more common that women experience domestic violence, it also happens to individuals in same-sex relationships and to male victims within heterosexual relationships where the dynamic of power and control is present. Children may also become victims of domestic violence either by directly experiencing abuse themselves or by witnessing domestic violence in the home. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, help is available through victim services and other resources.
To learn more about Domestic Violence, see the Help Starts Here infosheet.
VictimLink BC is a toll-free 24/7 information and support line that provides information and referrals to all victims of crime, and crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including sexual assault, violence in relationships, elder abuse, and adult survivors of physical or sexual abuse. VictimLink BC provides service in 110 languages, including 17 North American Aboriginal languages.
VictimLink BC can provide information for such services as:
Crime Victim Assistance Program
Crime Victim Assistance Program provides financial benefits to assist victims, immediate family members, and witnesses in dealing with the affects of violent crime.
Victim Safety Unit
Victim Safety Unit allows victims of crime and persons protected by a Family Relations Act restraining order to register for ongoing notification about the status of an adult accused/offender and financial assistance to travel to justice proceedings.
HealthLinkBC is a gateway to non-emergency health information and services. A phone service, website and print resource provides an expanded health navigation system, access to advice from healthcare professionals and enables community members to look up symptoms and services.
Helpline for Children
Helpline for Children is a toll free phone service staffed by social workers who can provide help and answer questions regarding reports of child abuse or neglect.
Qmunity Resource Centre
Qmunity Resource Centre provides counselling, resources, programs and peer support to the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual communities. Qmunity also operates Prideline, a peer support, information and referral helpline.
Lawyer Referral Services
Lawyer Referral Services enables the public to access lawyers practicing in the field of law required for the particular situation and provides the opportunity to have a consultation with a lawyer for a fee.
Legal Services Society (LawLINE)
LawLINE provides general legal information and, in some cases, advice about legal issues to people who need a lawyer but do not qualify for legal aid.
Did You Know?
Transition houses or safe homes provide temporary housing in a safe, secure environment for women and their children leaving abusive relationships. A transition house (or safe home) will provide:
To find a transition house or a safe home in your area call VictimLink BC 1-800-563-0808.For a list of Aboriginal shelters in Canada visit National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence.
You can also use Shelter Net to find a shelter anywhere in Canada. This service is provided in ten different languages.