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Are you a woman in need of help? Please call our 24-hour crisis line: 905-529-8600
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Or toll free: 1-833-654-4217

Our counsellors can help you create a safety plan over the phone, learn more about Inasmuch House, or connect you to other resources.

 What is Domestic Violence and Abuse?

Domestic violence is abuse that occurs within intimate relationships. It is a pattern of control that can exist in any relationship–i.e. married, unmarried, heterosexual, same-sex, parental, etc. It occurs across all age, racial, socioeconomic and religious groups.

The purpose of the abuse is to control the victim’s behaviour, either by preventing them from doing what they wish to do, or by forcing them to do something against their wishes. The perpetrator accomplishes this by inducing fear. Underlying all abuse is a power imbalance between the victim and the offender.2

Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

Remember, your partner’s violence is a way to control and maintain power over you. It is not your fault. You have a right to safety and a life free from violence and intimidation.

Warning Signs of Abusive Partner

History of Abuse

  • Past record of crimes involving sexual assault, physical assault, armed robbery, etc.
  • Denies responsibility for violent behaviour and minimizes violence. Says that he/she forgets or “blacked out” during an assault, or shrugs them off as not a big deal
  • Was abused or witnessed abuse as a child. Abuse is a learned behaviour

Non-Physical Abuse

  • Goes into rage with little or no provocation
  • Harshly criticizes or says blatantly mean things about and to you (i.e. calls you horrible names)

Alcohol/Drug Abuse

  • Drugs and/or alcohol do not cause abuse, but they can contribute to an individual acting more violently

Cruelty to Animals

  • Harms, kills or brutally punishes animals or pets


  • Tries to isolate partner from her family and friends so that she becomes more dependent. Often starts by criticizing her family and friends
  • Has a very limited or no social network

Jealousy & Trust

  • Monitors your every move and often accuses you of having affairs or flirting with other people
  • Checks up on you: calling you repeatedly to find out where you are, checking the mileage when you get home
  • Tends not to trust other people


  • Blames everyone and everything else for his/her actions (i.e. alcohol, stress, finances)

Views of Women

  • Puts down people from past relationships.
  • Makes jokes about other people in general or denigrating statements about women/others
  • Expects partner to not work and always stay home
  • Believes in very traditional views about men and women and relationships


  • Threatens to kill, commit suicide, or take custody of your children if you leave.
  • Threatens to hurt you, but dismisses it later


  • Feels insecure and expects partner to make him/her feel good and know what he/she needs


If you want to talk with a Shelter Counsellor about your partner’s behaviour, please call (905) 529-8149.

If you are in a crisis, call our crisis line at (905) 529-8600 or call 911

If you need to leave your partner, Inasmuch House can provide you with a safe place with support for you and your children. We have several programs for women and children at our shelter and can connect you to additional services (i.e. legal) in the community.


We know leaving is never easy.
We will not judge you.
We will listen and support you.

Learn more about abuse

See how we support women