There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner or other family member.
If you feel like you have to tread carefully around a family member—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid harmful reactions or harmful behaviours—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include being with someone who belittles you or tries to control you; who actively creates feelings of self-loathing, helplessness and desperation; and/or who harms or assaults you.
Abuse can take many forms, and abusive behaviour is never acceptable—whether it’s coming from an adult, a teenager, or a senior—no matter their gender. You deserve to feel valued, respected and safe.
If you or someone you know is being abused (or you suspect abuse) and you want to talk, seek advice, and find local options, please reach out to Alberta’s Abuse Helpline (available M-F from 7:30 am to 8 pm) at 1-855-4HELPAB (1-855-443-5722). For 24 Hour crisis lines, please refer to our Resources page.
If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.
We define family violence and bullying from a distilled understanding of gender-based violence and the collective agencies with work with in the sector of family violence, including CIAFV and Sagesse. Because we also serve those impacted by bullying, our definitions are inclusive of all these terms:
Family Violence describes a pattern of abusive behaviours within any relationship that is characterized by intimacy, dependency, and/or trust. These abusive behaviours are employed to either induce, gain, or maintain power and control, and/or to instil fear. All forms of abusive behaviour are ways in which one human being is trying to have control and/or exploit or have power over another.