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Frequently Asked Questions
What is family violence?
- physical abuse
- mental and emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
- intimidation and threats
- family violence
- domestic abuse
- partner abuse
How do I know if it's happening to me?
It can be hard to realize you're caught in the cycle of abuse and it may be even harder to admit it to yourself or anyone else. You are living with family violence if someone close to you is:
- hurting you physically
- threatening to hurt you, your children, family members, or pets
- forcing you to have sex or watch others have sex
- constantly humiliating you, calling you names or insulting you
- isolating you from friends and family
- monitoring your e-mails, phone calls, Internet activity
- denying your access to food, clothing, medication, any other basic needs
- controlling your finances
What are some of the signs that someone I know is being abused?
Family violence is often hidden or down-played by the abused person and the abuser. Both will often claim it's a private matter. People who suspect a problem are often afraid to intervene. It's important to know some of the signs:
- frequent injuries from what the victim claims are "accidents"
- increased isolation from family and friends
- jumpiness, depression or anxiety
- loss or decrease in self-esteem as a result of the abuse
- avoidance of any form of confrontation
- dramatic change in manner, mood or physical appearance
- excessive coping behaviours: over-eating, smoking, substance abuse, or gambling
- expressed fear of family member
- family member's jealousy or possessiveness
- constant criticism from family member
Why don't victims just leave?
- Fear of more violence and punishment. Research shows family violence often escalates when the abused person leaves the relationship. Some abusers repeatedly threaten to kill or seriously injure them if the abused person tries to leave.
- "For the sake of their children". Abusers may threaten to hurt or take away the children.
- Afraid to leave because they have no money and can't afford to support themselves or their children on their own.
- Too humiliated about being in the situation and don't want anyone else to know.
- In spite of the abuse, they still love their abuser and just want the abuse to stop.n spite of the abuse, they still love their abuser and just want the abuse to stop.
What kind of help is available in Manitoba?
- 10 women’s shelters that provide emergency shelter and counselling for women and children who are victims of family violence (also find accommodations for men who require a safe place).
- A provincial toll free crisis line that automatically links you with the nearest shelter that will provide safety.
- nine women’s resource centers that provide information and referral, individual counselling and support groups for women, as well as children's programming.
- four residential second-stage housing programs that offer protective, affordable, long-term housing for women who leave an abusive relationship, but need more than just physical protection.
- 14 specialized programs that provide individual counselling, open and closed support groups, longer term counselling, training for other service providers, public education, supervised access services for parents and their children and couples counselling.
- services that respect cultural needs are available for Aboriginal, Francophone and immigrant women and children.
Do these services charge fees?
- all agencies and organizations listed on this website are free
- all agencies funded through Family Violence Prevention Program provide free help
- all Manitoba Justice, Victim Services programs provide free assistance and information, see Domestic Violence Support Service (DVSS)