Domestic violence is not tolerated in Ontario. All Ontarians have the right to feel safe in their homes and communities. Although both women and men can be victims of domestic violence, the overwhelming majority of this violence involves men abusing women. Violence can have lasting harmful effects on victims and has a tragic impact on children.
Threatening, hitting, kicking, punching, pushing, stalking and harassing another person are crimes. Having sex with a person against that person’s will is also a crime. Being married does not change this. A person committing these acts can be arrested, charged, convicted and jailed.
Psychological, emotional and financial abuse should also not be tolerated, although they are not considered to be crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada.
If you or your children are experiencing any of these forms of abuse, you are not alone. There is help available for you. If you are being threatened or physically or sexually assaulted, call the police.
If you do not wish to call the police, or you are experiencing other forms of abuse, there are resources in your community to help you. Some of these are listed at the back of this booklet.
Talk to a lawyer about what you can do to protect yourself and your children. You could also talk to your doctor, people at your community information centre or community health centre. They know about services in your community that can help you and your children. Your doctor can take care of your injuries and make a note of them in your file. These records can be used in court to prove to a judge that you were assaulted.