Abuse is a crime

Wife assault is a crime and can have profound negative effects on the women an children who witness it.

Are you or have you been sexually abused

All abuse must be taken seriously. All abuse is damaging. While the results of some kinds of abuse are more visible, it is not possible to say that visible abuse is more serious than abuse which cannot be seen. Not all abuse progresses to physical violence, but almost all physical violence begins with emotional abuse

Sexually Abusive Partners

  • May say anything that makes you feel bad about your self image or body
  • May insult you sexually
  • May make sexual advances towards other people
  • May make you do sexual acts you do not want to do
  • May force you to have sex

Sexual Assault – Dispelling the Myths – True or False?

Sexual Assaults are most often committed by Strangers.


69% of sexual assaults are committed by a know assailant

The best way for a woman to protect herself from sexual assault is to avoid being alone at night in a dark, deserted place such as an alley or parking lot.


Most sexual assaults occur in a private home (60%) and the largest percentage of these (38%) occur in the victim’s home.

Men who sexually assault women are either mentally ill or sexually starved.


Sexual assault is a crime of power, control and violence. Studies and research on the psychological profiles of rapists overwhelmingly reveal that they are “ordinary, normal” average men.

Only young and attractive women are sexually assaulted.


Sexual assault happens to women of all ages and physical types, from every cultural, racial, religious and socioeconomic background including native, immigrant, rural, elderly women and women with disabilities.

Women provoke sexual assault by their appearance of behaviour. Women who are sexually assaulted, 'ask for it'.


Women always have a right to say no to sexual involvement. The idea that women, “ask for it” is often used by Men who assault to rationalize their behaviour.

Even though a woman say, 'no', she secretly enjoys being forced to have sex.


“NO” means “NO”-whatever the situation.

A woman who has agreed to sex previously with the same partner (for example her husband or boyfriend) cannot be raped.


Sexual assault occurs whenever a person does not want to have sex but is forced to do so.

Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
  • Although every woman is a potential victim of sexual assault, the risk of rape is four times higher for females 16-24 years of age.
  • A Metro Toronto Study found that 1 in 4 females high school students had been persuaded to have intercourse.
  • 69% of Sexual assaults are committed by a know assailant
  • 95% of women who have been sexually assaulted DO NOT report the incident to the police
  • In Canada, every 6 minutes a woman is sexually assaulted and every 17 minutes a woman is forced to have sexual intercourse.
  • In a long term study of adolescents’ vulnerability to sexual assault, it was found that:
    • 56% had been raped on a date
    • 30% had been raped by a friend
    • 11% by a boyfriend
    • 78% did not tell their parents
    • 71% confided in one or more of their teenage friends (not someone experienced in helping)
    • only 6% reported the assault to the Police

Definitions of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Includes hitting, shoving, slapping, kicking, choking, using a weapon, threatening to assault.

Sexual Assault

Includes forcing a woman to have sex against her wishes. This includes any unwanted touching, kissing, fondling or sexual threats.

Psychological / Emotional Abuse

Includes insulting, name calling, blaming, threatening suicide, attempts to control another person’s thinking, social contacts, activities and behaviour.

Economic Abuse

Includes the restriction and withholding of financial resources, including prevention from obtaining or maintaining employment

Effects of abuse

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Substance Misuse
  • Fear and Panic Attacks

If you know someone who is being abused…

  • Be supportive, listen and be patient.
  • Encourage her to seek support and shelter.
  • Tell her that she does not deserve the abuse – It is not her fault.
  • Know the numbers for emergency services in your area.
  • Prepare an emergency bag with keys, identification, legal papers, money, medications.
  • Take only what you can, safely!

He loves me…he loves me not

This is a thought that may cross your mind quite often. You may hear from friends, family, coworkers “Why don’t you just leave him?”. We understand it is a very difficult decision to make. Here are some of the reasons you may feel the need to stay with your partner:
  • You love your partner, not the violence
  • You made a commitment you feel you can’t break
  • You feel you have nowhere else to go
  • You fear poverty for you and your children
  • Your relatives and in-laws want you to stay
  • Your partner may have threatened suicide if you leave
  • Your partner makes you doubt that you can do it on your own
  • You believe your partner will change
  • You are afraid or ashamed
  • Your partner makes you feel like the abuse is your fault
  • You are afraid for your life and your children’s
  • You want your children to grow up with a father
  • You may not have access to the services you need
The thought of leaving may be overwhelming. The first step in dealing with an abusive relationship is to find support and gain perspective.

Characteristics of battered women and their batterers


Wife assault – Dispelling the myths


Wife assault is a new social problem


Wife assault is NOT new. In Canada, it wasn’t until 1968, when the Federal Divorce Act was passed, that physical and mental cruelty became grounds for divorce.


Wife assault is not a widespread problem.


In a recent study, 1 in 5 Canadian men living with a woman admitted to using violence against her.


Alcohol causes men to assault their partners.


Alcohol can make it easier for a man to be violent. However, the real cause of wife assault is the batterer’s desire for power and control over his partner. Batterer’s often use alcohol as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for their violent behaviour.


Men are abused by their partners as often as women are.


More than 92% of charges related to spousal assault in Ontario are laid against men. Most charges laid against women are counter-charges laid by assaultive partners or stem from acts of self-defense.


Women often provoke assaults and deserve what they get.


No woman ever deserves to be beaten. Assaulted woman report a wide range of incidents that trigger violence. For example: “I fried his eggs the wrong way,” “I didn’t turn down the radio enough,” or “I went out with my friends without asking his permission.” Abusive men often claim their partner provoked an assault to avoid responsibility for power and control over his partner.

The Cycle of Abuse – why men abuse and why women stay

Why do Men Abuse?

  • have learned this behaviour in their family or origin (75% of batterers have witnessed their father abusing their mother)
  • believe and are influenced by dominant male images reinforced by society and media
  • live in society where there are few, if any, negative consequences for woman abuse
  • believe it is an appropriate expression of power and control
  • want their partner to remain dependent on them

Why do Women Stay?

  • want their relationship to work and hope their partner will change
  • fear of reprisals from their partner
  • lack of money or housing (95% of women who left their partner live below the poverty line
  • want their children to have a father at home
  • feel guilt, shame and responsibility for the abuse
  • are not aware that help is available
  • may have religious or familial beliefs that condemn a woman for leaving
  • do not have personal or social supports
  • fear of losing their children