When people hear about abusive relationships, they often think of physical or sexual abuse, however; there are many forms of abuse that can hurt you, including emotional, verbal and financial abuse. Psychological harassment and manipulating the children also counts as a form of abuse.
Abuse can change forms in a relationship and can result in a cycle of violence. It not only has harmful effects on the overall well-being of the victim, but may have a negative impact on the children.
If you think you are in an abusive relationship, seek help immediately from your friends, family or from professional services throughout BC. If you hear anyone say or make you believe that violence in relationships is a family matter that needs to be dealt with privately, know that it is not. Any kind of assault or harassment is a crime. In a situation like this, you may feel afraid and isolated. Remember that help is available – you have the right to be safe.
It is always a good idea to get legal advice and information before or during the process of leaving an abusive partner. Knowing what your rights and responsibilities are and how the Canadian legal system works will help you make better informed decisions. If you decide to discuss your situation with a Family Lawyer, he or she will provide you with advice such as your potential options, how to keep the abuser away through court orders, and what to do about your family home, finances and children.
You can also refer to the BC Legal Services Society’s Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse booklet for further information about abusive relationships.