The Family Enhancement Centre is a leading provider of counselling services for domestic violence related issues in Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, St. Catharines and Orangeville. We have a team of highly experienced therapists who are able to offer domestic violence counselling in English, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Hindi, Punjabi and Malayalam.

Domestic violence can be defined as any incident of threatening behaviour, abuse or violence between people who are or have been in a relationship, or between members of a family, regardless of gender of sexuality.

One common thread in cases of domestic violence is the element of control. Usually, one person in a relationship is using violent actions to control or manipulate other. Though this can take many forms and can affect anyone, irrespective of gender, sexuality, race or age; in majority of cases women are the victim of domestic violence.

In most cases the frequency and magnitude of assaults increases over time, as victims keep tolerating the abuse silently in the hope that abuser will change their behavior. Often abusers convey deep remorse and promise to change, and thus victims may take years to acknowledge “that the violence is never going to stop and the relationship is unsalvageable”.

Here we are going to discuss some facts about domestic violence cases against women in Canada, how this behavior can affect you, warning signs and where to look for support.

Domestic violence against women can include:

  • Physical abuse: Physical abuse may include slapping, choking, or punching; using objects as weapons; threatening with a knife or gun
  • Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse in matters of domestic violence include forcing her into unwanted sexual acts by using threats, intimidation, or physical force
  • Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse may include actions intended to demean women and to restrict her freedom and independence. Examples of emotional abuse – threats to kill her, her children or loved ones; threats to commit suicide; humiliating her or making degrading comments about her body, behavior or family; destroying her belongings; restricting her movements outside house; etc.
  • Financial abuse: Stealing or not giving her enough money; forcing her to work or denying her right to work
  • Criminal harassment/stalking: Following her or watching her in a persistent, malicious, and unwanted manner. Invading her privacy in a way that threatens her modesty / safety

Did You Know…

Domestic violence is a gendered crime

  • Spousal violence has been consistently identified as one of the major causes of violence against women in Canada
  • The majority of spousal violence victims are women, representing 83% of all victims (2007)
  • Women are almost 4 times more likely than men to be victims of spousal violence (2011)
  • More than 6% of married, common-law, same-sex, separated and divorced female spouses in Ontario report experiencing physical/sexual assault by a spousal partner (2009)

Women experience more serious forms of spousal assault than men

  • 4 in 10 women victimized by their spouse report being physically injured (42%), more than twice the proportion of male victims (18%) (2009)
  • Women are three times more likely to report being beaten, choked, sexually assaulted, or threatened with a gun or knife by their partner or ex-partner (2009)
  • Women are more likely to experience multiple victimizations, according to self-reported data (2009)
  • Most victims of domestic homicide are female, while most perpetrators are male…
  • 95% of spousal homicide victims in Ontario are female (2011)
  • There were 59 female spousal homicide victims in Canada in 2011, in comparison to 7 male victims
  • Of the homicide cases with domestic violence involvement which occurred in Ontario from 2002 to 2009, 80% of victims were women, 12% were children and 8% were men
  • Of the cases reviewed in Ontario’s 2011 Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Report, 88% of spousal homicide perpetrators were male while 89% of victims were female
  • The rate of domestic homicides against women has dropped in Canada…
  • The rate of homicides against female spouses dropped 46% from 1991 to 2011

To read complete statistics of Domestic Violence click here

What factors are responsible for domestic violence?
There are several factors that make a person perpetrator of domestic violence. Some of these include:

  • Perception in some societies that domestic violence is the woman’s fault
  • The feeling of high level of ownership of their women among males in some societies
  • Parenting styles that inculcate the beliefs that boys have to be aggressive while girls are expected to be passive
  • Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to grow up as abusers
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anger control difficulties
  • The need to control others
  • A belief in strict gender roles
  • Financial difficulties
  • Substance abuse
  • Emotional insecurity or dependence

Where to get support
You are in an abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Slaps you, beat you or threatens to do physical harm to you or your loved ones
  • Threatens to commit suicide
  • Call you names
  • Do acts that demean you and your loved ones
  • Control your finances and your relationships
  • Forces you to have sex at times and in ways you do not want
  • Stays out very late without telling you what he is doing, getting angry if you even ask

If you are victim of domestic violence, help is available. If you need to speak to someone about a sexual assault and/or domestic violence experience, please call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 1-866-863-0511. This is a 24-hour crisis line.

We at The Family Enhancement Centre also offer court approved programs for issues related to domestic violence. Call today at 905-799-2228 to know more about our services or send us a message. The objective of domestic violence counselling is to help reduce relationship and/or family conflict and stop abusive, violent and controlling behaviors. Both the partners are engaged in structured exercises and self-exploration to help them examine their beliefs and behaviors. Our therapists will provide you the necessary tools and information to resolve family conflict in ways that do not involve violence or threats.


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