Family violence is a serious issue that can have a devastating effect on individuals, families, and communities. It is important to be aware of the signs of family violence and to know where to get help if you or someone you know is experiencing it. This article provides an overview of family violence in Ontario, including its definition, prevalence, and effects. It also includes information on how to get help if you are experiencing or witnessing family violence.

What is Family Violence?

Family violence is a pattern of behavior that includes physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse. It can happen in relationships between married or common-law partners, parents and children, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren, and other family members.

Violence within a family is often used to maintain power and control over another person. It can happen once or be repeated over a long period of time. Family violence can have a lasting impact on everyone involved.

If you are experiencing family violence, know that you are not alone. There are people and resources that can help.

The Different Types of Family Violence

There are many different types of family violence, and it can happen to anyone. It’s important to be aware of the different types so that you can recognize them and get help if you need it.

Physical violence is when someone uses their body to hurt someone else This can include hitting, kicking, choking, or using a weapon. It can also mean when a spousal damages walls or throws objects around.

Sexual violence is when someone is forced to do something sexual that they don’t want to do. This can include rape, sexual assault, or child sexual abuse.

Emotional violence is when someone uses words or actions to hurt someone else’s feelings. This can include name-calling, threats, or put-downs.

Economic violence is when someone tries to control another person by controlling their finances. This can include not letting them work, not giving them money, or making them ask for money.

Spiritual violence is when someone tries to control another person by using their religious or cultural beliefs. This can include using religion to justify abuse, forcing someone to participate in a religious activity against their will, or preventing them from practicing their religion.

The Effects of Family Violence

Family violence is a devastating problem that can have far-reaching effects on its victims. The physical, emotional, and psychological damage that family violence inflicts can last a lifetime. Children who witness or are victims of family violence often carry the scars with them into adulthood. They may have difficulty trusting people, and forming close relationships, and may suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.

If you are a victim of family violence, it is important to get help. There are many organizations and agencies that can provide support and assistance. You are not alone.

What to do if you are a victim of family violence

If you are a victim of family violence, there are a number of things you can do to get help and keep yourself and your family safe.

First and foremost, if you are in immediate danger, call 911. This is a vital step to take if you feel like you or your children are in danger of being hurt or killed.

Once you are out of immediate danger, there are a number of support services available to help you deal with the aftermath of family violence. In Ontario, Canada, there is a 24-hour toll-free family violence hotline that can connect you with local resources and services: 1-866-863-0511.

There are also many shelters available for victims of family violence and their children. These shelters can provide you with a safe place to stay, as well as counseling and support services to help you recover from the trauma of family violence. To find a shelter near you, visit the website for the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses:

In addition to shelters and hotlines, there are also many community organizations that offer support to victims of family violence. These organizations can provide information, referrals, and legal help.

You can also contact a family lawyer to obtain an immediate restraining order. However, a retraining order does not prevent your spouse from hurting you or the child. If your spouse breaches the restraining order, that results in a breach of the order and your spouse may be facing charges for failing to comply with the restraining order.

How to help someone who is a victim of family violence

If you are worried about someone you know who may be a victim of family violence, there are some things you can do to help.

First, make sure that the person is safe. If they are in immediate danger, call 911. If they are not in danger but you are worried about their safety, encourage them to call a domestic violence hotline like the one operated by Family Violence Ontario (1-800-265-9178).

Second, offer support and understanding. Let the person know that you care about them and want to help. Listen to what they have to say and believe them.

Third, help the person develop a safety plan. This may include things like figuring out how to get away from their abuser if they are in danger, finding a safe place to stay, and getting financial assistance.

Fourth, provide practical assistance. This could involve helping the person get in touch with shelters or other services, going with them to court hearings or police interviews, or just being there for them as a friend.

Finally, stay involved and keep checking in on the person even after the immediate crisis has passed.


Family violence is a complex issue that affects families of all types in Ontario. It can take many forms, including physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, there are a number of resources available to help. The first step is to reach out for help. There are 24-hour helplines available, as well as support groups and counseling services. You are not alone.

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