What is Family Violence
Family violence, often referred to as domestic violence, is abusive behaviour that occurs within a family unit or intimate relationship. It can take various forms, including:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional / psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Stalking / harassment
The legislation and courts acknowledge the seriousness of family violence and provide several remedies, including protection orders, to safeguard at-risk family members. Courts consider multiple factors when assessing family violence, such as the history, the frequency and seriousness of the violent acts, and the psychological impact on the victim and other family members.
The courts have also recognized “coercive control”, which is the act or pattern of acts of abuse, humiliation, and / or intimidation used to harm, punish, or frighten the other party to establish power and control over the other person.
It's important to note that family violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, economic status, or cultural background. It often escalates over time, making early intervention crucial.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, it's important to seek professional help immediately. Below are some resources in Alberta and British Columbia that can offer initial guidance and support.
- Family violence – Find supports | Alberta.ca
- Domestic Violence Family Law – Calgary Legal Guidance (clg.ab.ca)