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:
- Physical – injury, assault, or discomfort of an individual;
- Emotional/Psychological – inflicting mental pain, distress, threats, and anguish towards a family member;
- Financial – the unethical or illegal misuse of money or property of another family member;
- Neglect – failure to provide the basic necessities of life such as food, heat, fluids, clothing or sanitary facilities; and
- 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
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.