What is Domestic Violence?
As taken from the Joint Committee on Domestic Violence: “Any use of physical or sexual force, actual or threatened, in an intimate relationship”
Intimate relationships include those between the opposite-sex and same-sex partners. These relationships vary in duration and legal formality and include current and former dating, common-law and married couples. Although both women and men can be victims of domestic violence, the overwhelming majority of this violence involves men abusing women. These crimes are often committed in a context where there is a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviour. This violence may include physical assault, and emotional, psychological and sexual abuse. It can include threats to harm past or present partners, children, other family members, pets and property. The violence is used to intimidate, humiliate or frighten victims, or to make them powerless. Domestic violence may include a single act of abuse. It may also include a number of acts, which may appear minor or trivial when viewed in isolation, but collectively form a pattern that amounts to abuse.
Criminal Code offences include, but are not limited to homicide, assault, sexual assault, threatening death or bodily harm, forcible confinement, harassment/stalking, abduction, breaches of court orders and property-related offences.
If you feel that you or someone you know needs help in a case of domestic violence, please contact one of our member organizations for support.