What is Family Violence

Family violence describes a pattern of abusive behaviours within a relationship characterized by intimacy, dependency or trust. These types of relationships can include:

  • Children exposed to or experiencing family violence

  • People in intimate partner relationships, including dating relationships

  • Seniors experiencing abuse from family members 

All forms of abusive behaviour are ways in which one human being is trying to have control, induce fear, or have power over another person.

Other terms related to “family violence” include:

  • Domestic abuse/violence

  • Intimate partner violence

  • Elder Abuse

  • Gender-based violence

It Can Happen To Anyone

Often people experiencing family violence feel isolated and alone. You are not alone! It’s widespread, serious and preventable.

Family violence is not a private family matter. Everybody has the right to feel safe and not live in fear. We can achieve safety for everyone if we all work together. 

 

Where Can I Turn To For Help?

Help with family or domestic violence: If you or someone you know is affected by family or domestic violence, please consider these resources for support, advice, or action:

  • Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger. To submit a report, call the police non-emergency line: 780-423-4567 or #377 on any mobile phone.

  • The Family Violence Information Line offers anonymous support from trained staff 24/7 in over 170 languages. Call 310-1818 for assistance. Supports and services are available, including financial aid, housing/shelter and pet safety.

  • Online chat is also available at alberta.ca/SafetyChat (8am to 8pm in English only).

  • Physical distancing, quarantine and isolation during Covid-19 make it even harder to maintain valuable relationships or access resources.  Help is still available. Family violence during COVID-19 info sheet.  

Help with elder abuse: If you or someone you know is affected by elder abuse, please consider these resources for support, advice, or action:

How Do You Recognize Family Violence?

Family violence comes in many forms. Abusive behaviours often increase in frequency and severity throughout the relationship and can include some or all of the following forms of abuse:

  • Emotional/psychological abuse

  • Financial abuse

  • Stalking

  • Physical violence

  • Sexual violence

  • Spiritual abuse

What Are the Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship?

Your partner:

  • Makes you feel like you’re walking on eggshells

  • Makes all the financial decisions or uses your cash, credit or loans

  • Puts you down or calls you names

  • Calls you a bad parent or threatens to take away your children

  • Accuses you of having affairs

  • Forces you to have sex

  • Stops you from seeing friends and family

  • Pinches, bites, pushes, slaps, hits, kicks, restrains or strangles you

  • Snoops through your social media, internet history or emails

  • Threatens to hurt or kill you, members of your family or your pets

  • Threatens suicide when you try to leave

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
DIAL 911 for all life-threatening situations and crimes in progress. If you require non-emergency assistance from the police, call 780-423-4567 or #377.

What Can I Do To Prevent Family Violence?

For Everyone

  • Get involved with local activities, like the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign (25 November–10 December)

  • Find out what is happening locally at ItsTimeYeg or @ItsTimeYEG 

  • Today Centre training for individual and groups to better understand and address family violence 

  • Report a sexual assault online, i.e. if you were touched in a sexual manner by an unknown or known person (i.e. partner, co-worker) without consent or forced into sexual intercourse or acts

For Men

  • Get involved with other men standing up to family and gender-based violence through Next Gen Men, White Ribbon or the Moosehide Campaign

  • Challenge gender norms and sexist behaviours by letting people know these behaviours are not acceptable to you

For Employers

  • Find out whether your workplace or organization has developed a framework to address family violence as over half of those reporting domestic violence indicated at least one abusive incident occurred at or near the workplace.

  • Hold an event raising awareness of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November).

How Does The City Help?

Visit the Family Violence Prevention Team page to learn about all the work the City does in the community to help.