What is Family Violence?

Family Violence

 To be free of abuse and from fear of abuse in relationships is a human right.  These are the rights of everyone, especially those most vulnerable – children, women, elders and people with disabilities.

Although Canada has strict laws which guarantee the safety and dignity of everyone, family violence still remains a very serious problem in our country’s society, especially the violence against women.

Abuse can be in many different forms, such as :

-          Physical

-          Sexual

-          Emotional/Psychological

-          Verbal and,

-          Financial

For more detailed information on these forms of abuse click here.

Victims of Abuse

ANY family member can be a victim of abuse.

-          Children – You are required by law, in Canada, to properly care for your children.  Teachers, doctors, police, and social services officials will act if a child/children are being abused or neglected.  Many children that witness abuse in the household, are also victims of the abuse.  Children who are being abused or neglected can be taken away from their parent(s), as abuse is a severe crime.

-          Women – Women are the most likely to be victims of family or relationship abuse.  Statistics say that half of Canadian women and girls have or will experience at least one incident of physical or sexual abuse by the age of 16.

-          Elders – Elder abuse often includes neglect and humiliation, but can be any form.  Even though elder abuse is against the law, it is still very common.

-          People with disabilities – Because of their circumstances, unfortunately, people with disabilities tend to be more vulnerable to abuse.  Whether a person has an intellectual challenge, mental illness, or physical disability, they also have the right to be free from abuse.

-          Men – Although men are the least likely to fall victim to abuse, violence against men can and does happen.  It is important to know that they are not alone and that the perpetrators of the abuse should recognize that violence in any form is both morally and legally wrong.

PEI Family Violence Prevention Services

The PEI Family Violence Prevention Services offer:

-          Outreach Services – These services are confidential support services for women that are available in various locations across PEI.

-          Anderson House – PEI emergency shelter for women and children who are in need of immediate safety because of violence in their lives.  Anderson House services are available 24/7.

-          Second Stage Housing – Safe and supportive accommodation for women and children whom are leaving and abusive situation, after their stay at Anderson House.  Second Stage housing provides an opportunity to think and come up with a plan for a future without fear.

-          Support and Information Phone Line – A 24 hour toll free crisis and support line.  All calls are confidential.

-          Support Groups – Groups that offer education, support, and opportunities for women to share their experiences.  Groups are available across PEI through Outreach Services.

-          PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre – Provides services to adult and teen survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse across PEI.  Their services include short and long term counselling, public education, and an information and support telephone line.  All services are free and confidential.

-          SAGE – SAGE is a grassroots volunteer organization whose goal is to educate and empower communities to prevent child sexual abuse in PEI.

-          Turning Point Program – The Turning Point Program provides counselling to men abusers who want to stop their abusive behaviors toward their female partners.  The program helps the men to take responsibility for their own behaviors and emotions.  The program also focuses on the development of skills related to problem solving and communication, allowing men to deal with anger and other emotions in a constructive way.

VOICES Aboriginal Guide Information and Resources Available for Women and Men on Family Violence on Prince Edward Island