Abuse can happen in many different ways and to anyone. Abuse is not only physical. Here are some examples of abusive behaviour. If you have experienced any of these, your relationship could be abusive. Remember: You don’t have to be hit to be hurt.

Physical abuse

  • Slapping
  • Shoving
  • Kicking
  • Not letting her sleep
  • Using a weapon or other object to threaten her
  • Keeping her confined
  • Withholding care
  • Choking
  • Taking away wheelchair, hearing aid or other assistive devices

Psychological/emotional abuse

  • Threatening to report her to Family and Children’s Services
  • Threatening to commit suicide
  • Searching through purse, cell phone or personal belongings
  • Controlling behaviour
  • Accusing her of cheating
  • Degrading her
  • “Silent treatment”
  • Putting her down constantly
  • Name-calling

Sexual abuse

  • Unwanted touching
  • Giving her alcohol or drugs in order to have sex
  • Sexual name-calling
  • Unwelcome sexual comments
  • “Flashing”
  • Threatening to hurt sexually
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Exposing her to sexual images or pornography without permission
  • Human trafficking
  • Leering

Social abuse

  • Keeping her away from friends and family
  • Not taking responsibility for children
  • Embarrassing her in front of children, friends or others
  • Ignoring her in public

Financial/Economic abuse

  • Withholding money
  • Preventing her from working
  • Spending or mismanaging family income
  • Controlling her spending
  • Not allowing her to have debit/credit cards

Legal abuse

  • Having her counter charged by the police
  • Not allowing children to call home or access visits
  • Representing himself in court, making endless motions over minor issues

Spiritual abuse

  • Using religion to control her behaviour
  • Ridiculing her for her religious beliefs
  • Forcing her to practice certain beliefs

Immigrant abuse

  • Threatening her with deportation
  • Denying access to her passport
  • Threatening to ostracize her from her ethnic community


  • Repeated phone calls, text messages or e-mails
  • Sending her unwanted packages, cards, gifts or letters
  • Following her
  • Damaging her home, vehicle or property
  • Contacting her at her workplace repeatedly
  • Driving by her home or workplace many times a day


No one deserves to be abused. If you are worried about yourself or someone you know going through any of these forms of abuse, call our 24-hour Crisis Line for support and information at 519-836-5710 or 1-800-265-7233.

Learn more about our services.