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Emergency Contacts

If you are living with abuse or violence or know someone being abused and needs help call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, a 24-hour telephone and TTY crisis line for women in the province of Ontario. Their service is anonymous and confidential and you don’t have to give your name. Their toll-free number won’t show up on your phone bill and they don’t have call display. They will also speak with friends and family members of abused women, service providers and other professionals in contact with abused women.

  • GTA (Toronto Area) 416-863-0511
  • GTA (Toronto Area) 416-364-8762 (TTY)
  • Toll-Free 1-866-863-0511
  • Toll-Free 1-866-863-7868 (TTY)
  • #SAFE (#7233) on your Bell, Rogers, Fido, Telus phone

If you are homeless and looking for a place to stay call Nellie’s Crisis Line at 416-461-1084

If you are in any kind of danger call 911

Types of Abuse

Physical violence: This is the most obvious type of abuse and ranges from pushing and shoving to hitting, beating, physical abuse with a weapon, torture, mutilation and murder.

Emotional/Psychological violence: Using various methods to undermine an individual’s self-confidence, such as yelling, not letting you see your friends or family, insults, mockeries, threats, abusive language, humiliation, harassment, contempt, and deliberate denial of emotional care or isoloation

Sexual violence: Any form of non-consensual sexual activity (i.e. forced on an individual) ranging from harassment, unwanted sexual touching, to rape. This form of violence also includes incest

Financial violence: Encompasses various tactics for total or partial control of an individual’s finances, inheritance or employment income. It may include denying access to money or one’s own financial records and knowledge about personal investments, income or debt, or preventing a partner from taking employment outside the home, or engaging in other activity that would lead to financial independence

Neglect: Includes failure to provide for an individual’s basic needs and human rights, and the refusal or delay in the provision of food or medical care

Signs of Abuse:

  • Feel like you have to “walk on eggshells” to keep someone from getting angry and are frightened by their temper
  • Feel you can’t live without them
  • Stop seeing other friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because they don’t approve
  • Are afraid to talk to them about your worries and feelings about the relationship
  • Are often compliant because you are afraid to hurt their feelings; and have the urge to “rescue” them when they are troubled
  • Feel that you are the only one who can help them and that you should try to “reform” them
  • Find yourself apologizing to yourself or others for your partner’s behaviour when you are treated badly
  • Stop expressing opinions if they don’t agree with them
  • Stay because you feel they might kill themselves if you leave
  • Believe that their jealousy is a sign of love
  • Have been kicked, hit, shoved, or had things thrown at you when they were jealous or angry
  • Believe the critical things said to you and feeling bad about yourself
  • Believe that there is something wrong with you if you don’t enjoy the sexual things they make you do

Almost half of all women in their lifetime experience abuse and violence. However, abuse and violence is more prevalent among: senior aged or young women, aboriginal women, newcomers, women with disAbilities, women with mental health and addiction issues, consumer survivors, and women living in poverty.

If you are abused:

You are not alone and you are not to blame. There are ways you can make yourself safer:

  • Call the police if you have been assaulted. Charging abuse is a necessary step in reducing physical violence
  • Tell someone and keep a record of all incidents for evidence
  • Write down the details for yourself as soon as possible after the assault. Keep it in a safe place where your abuser won’t find it
  • Develop a safety plan. Memorize emergency numbers. Keep spare house and car keys handy. Find somewhere you can stay in an emergency
  • End the relationship as soon as possible. Without intervention, violence will increase in frequency and severity as time passes
  • Recognize that no one has the right to control you and that it is your human right to live without fear