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Do You Wonder if Your
Relationship is Healthy?


Gender-based violence is defined as any threat or act of gender-based hostile behaviour that can result in physical, sexual, verbal, financial, emotional, or mental harm or suffering to an individual. This includes acts of intimidation, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.

Examples of gender-based violence, include:

  • Insults or put-downs;

  • Embarrassment in front of others;

  • Making them feel worthless, guilty, ashamed, or responsible for problems in a relationship;

  • Isolation from family and friends;

  • Performance of any unwanted sexual behaviour;

  • Intimidation by use of looks, actions, gestures or threats;

  • Financial controls such as withholding money;

  • Threats of violence against you, your family, or pets;

  • Pushing, choking, slapping or kicking;

  • Throwing or breaking objects;

  • Threats to withdraw immigration sponsorship arrangements; and,

  • Threats to have you deported.


Abuse can happen to anyone of any age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Abuse can affect people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It has no boundaries.

Please know and remember that you do not have to stay in a shelter to receive help from one.

Abuse is a repetitive pattern of behaviours to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. While we often assume that abuse is physical, there are in fact many forms of domestic violence. Some are less obvious and difficult to see, but are no less devastating. Different forms of abuse can be occurring at the same time.


Abusers rarely exercise only one form of abuse. It is often the manipulation of several forms of abuse and behaviour that can go from loving and attentive, to violent and abusive.


can include slapping, punching, kicking, and choking, among other physical behaviours.


is never-ending criticism, name-calling, and put-downs alone or in public. It includes unjust blaming, false accusations about loyalties, and controls on your time, activities, and actions.


means that you have limited or no access to the family’s money and therefore no control over what is spent or saved, what money comes into the family, and what will be bought.


includes mocking or denigrating your spiritual beliefs or using religious doctrine as justification for abuse.


includes living with the constant fear and/or threat of violence against you and/or your children, friends, relatives, and pets. Your partner may be harassing you at work by calling repeatedly or by showing up. They may destruct items that you value, or may make suicide threats.


is being forced against your will to perform sexual acts or to have pain and injury inflicted during sexual activity.


is the use of technology to bully, harass, stalk, or intimidate a partner. This includes your partner controlling who your Facebook friends are, writing degrading messages about you in public spaces online, and having control of your passwords. The abuser may also access your phone to monitor who you are texting and calling.

I know the signs and I have a voice.

WIN House Champion

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