Domestic violence is a widespread problem in our society. This type of violence can happen to anyone. Domestic violence consists of many different types of violence and abuse:

  • Spousal Abuse
  • Violence against Children
  • Elder Abuse

Regardless of the types of abuse or violence, the abuse usually falls within one of the following categories:

  1. Physical – injury, assault, or discomfort of an individual;
  2. Emotional/Psychological – inflicting mental pain, distress, threats, and anguish towards a family member;
  3. Financial – the unethical or illegal misuse of money or property of another family member;
  4. Neglect – failure to provide the basic necessities of life such as food, heat, fluids, clothing or sanitary facilities; and
  5. Sexual – sexual activity with a family member without their consent.

Warning signs that may indicate a current or potential abuse are that a partner, child, or parent does any of the following:

  • regularly checks on you or acts possessively;
  • yells, puts you down, calls you names or makes you feel bad about yourself;
  • bosses you around;
  • blames you for their own harmful behaviour or avoids taking responsibility for their actions;
  • has a temper or makes you feel afraid or uncomfortable being around them;
  • failure to provide the basic necessities; and
  • inflicts unwanted touching, kissing, tickling, or makes sexual threats.

A victim of abuse may have the following symptoms:

  • repeated burns, bruises, cuts, or other injuries;
  • unusual passive, destructive, or aggressive behaviour;
  • ripped or soiled clothing;
  • constantly tired;
  • high rate of school absenteeism;
  • missed doctor appointments;
  • isolating themselves from friends;
  • declining health;
  • afraid of being left alone;
  • afraid of the dark; and
  • depression.

If you suspect that there is a situation where abuse or violence exists, you should telephone the Port Moody Police Department at 604-461-3456.

In addition to reporting your concerns to the police, you can also:

  • tell a friend and neighbour to telephone the police if they hear yelling, banging, or frightening noises coming from your home;
  • determine a place that you can go to if the situation doesn’t improve;
  • keep extra money set aside to assist you in the event you decide to leave the situation;
  • set aside extra clothes in the event you are to leave suddenly; and
  • create a code word with your family and friends to signal that you need help.

If you are a friend of a person being abused, you should:

  • let them know that they are not alone;
  • tell them that the abuse is not their fault;
  • help them develop different choices that they have available;
  • help them develop a safety plan;
  • provide a safe place for them to stay;
  • help them with the changes to avoid the abuse; and
  • call 9-1-1 if you feel they need help.

If you suspect that your elderly parents are being abused in a senior’s home or hospital, you should consider:

  • have a medical assessment done to determine if any injuries were accidental in nature or as a result of an assault;
  • ensure your elderly parents have a will and a power of attorney document; and
  • increasing your awareness of your parent’s financial history and current financial status.

You may wish to visit this website for more information on domestic abuse – SafeCanada – Domestic Abuse.