What is Abuse?

The following content has been adapted from:

Types of gender based violence and some specific
examples of are listed below.

Gender Based Violence

What is gender based violence? This definition has broad implications and extends beyond rape or sexual assault. It refers
to a variety of other more subtle or obvious forms of
violence or unwarranted sexual contact.

We can define gender based violence in a variety of categories,
many of which are listed below. If you have experienced
gender based violence, you are not alone and help is available.

Physical Abuse

This includes threatening behavior, intimidation and physical force of varying degrees or types. Hitting, cutting, punching, strangulation, shoving, pushing, burning, choking and use of weapons or items to cause harm are all examples of physical abuse.

Stalking and Harassment

Stalking and harasement behaviors can range in consistency
and intensity and promote an underlying feeling that
one’s personal privacy and safety is being compromised.

Examples of stalking and harassment behaviors are threats,
persistent phone calls, following or stalking, hiring someone
to stalk an individual, tracking one’s location and movements,
and internet or social media harassment (posting photos,
information, comments to degrade the person).

Stalking and harassment includes using multiple platforms
of communication like texting, e-mail, social media or mail
to attempt contact that is unwarranted and unwanted.

Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence includes a lack of respect for physical boundaries,
not respecting “no” or “stop”, manipulating or controlling
the right to use birth control, pursuing sexual activity when you
are not fully conscious or aware, forcing pornography (watching or participating) or causing physical harm without consent during sex.

If your boundaries are being ignored by a partner,
or acquaintance, this is a form of sexual abuse.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can take the form of humiliation, intimidation,
or threats (towards you, your family, your children or pets), name calling, attempting to make someone feel powerless, blaming,
extreme jealousy or gaslighting (manipulating someone into questioning their own sanity or perspectives.)

Emotional abuse can be more subtle and occur over time,
slowly making one feel belittled or powerless.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse can range from controlling money, withholding, misuse of money, preventing access to a job or school or ability to advance oneself. Anything that prevents autonomy over one’s ability to make decisions about resources or resource allocation.

Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual abuse is using one’s personal belief system to dominate
or control. This can be coercive or manipulative behavior
in a religious or non religious context, using one’s
personal beliefs to control the other person.

More specific examples are; use of scripture or sacred texts to persuade, stating that the abuser has a “divine” position or knowledge or demanding obedience or submission.

Other forms of Abuse

Other forms of abuse can include:

  • Controlling reproductive choices, access to health services or controlling your physical well-being
  • Isolating a person from their social network, family or support systems, restricting access to resources for betterment or self care
  • Using fear, judgement, belittling and control to manipulate and dominate life choices
  • Controlling access to substances or medications, or forcing use.

Not all types or examples of gender based are listed.
Other examples more relevant to you can be discussed with
the staff at the Transition House.

What to do next

If you are in an emergency situation,
please call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.

If you have question about sexualized violence, want to
explore your options or are curious about a stay at the
Westcoast Transition House, please contact us:

24-hour support line: 250-726-2020
toll-free: 1-877-726-2080
text message (SMS): 250-266-0187

Other WCRS Programs that may help

If you would like to talk in confidence
with our Stopping the Violence Women’s Counsellor,
please call 250-726-5269.

Other WCRS programs that you may be interested in

Community Outreach Program
Women’s Outreach Program