How do I know I am being abused?

Healthy relationships involve respect, trust, and care for the other person.

Abuse can sometimes be mistaken for strong feelings of caring or concern. Sometimes jealousy feels flattering or like your partner really cares about you. But actually, jealousy and controlling ways are not affection at all. Love needs respect and trust; it doesn't mean always worrying about ending the relationship.

Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual,spiritual and / or financial.

Slapping, hitting, and kicking are forms of physical abuse that can happen in both romances and friendships.

Emotional abuse, like teasing, bullying, and humiliating others, can be difficult to recognize because it doesn't leave any scars you can see. Threats, intimidation, putdowns, and betrayal are all hurtful forms of emotional abuse that can really hurt — not just during the time it's happening, but for a long time.

Sexual abuse is any type of sexual experience that you don't want. This can happen to anyone at anytime.

Spiritual abuse is controlling, stopping, or limiting another's religious orspiritual belief. Making it hard for someone to go to worship, stealing or destroying religious books, or making fun of how theypractice their religion are all examples of spiritual abuse.

Financial abuse is controlling access to and information about their money or the family's money.

The first step out of abuse is to realize that you have the right to betreated with respect and not be harmed by another person in anyway.

Signs That You Are Being Abused

Important warning signs that you may be involved in an abusive relationship include when someone:

  • harms you physically in any way, including slapping, pushing, grabbing, shaking, smacking, kicking, and punching
  • tries to control different parts of your life, such as how you dress, who you hang out with, and what you say
  • often embarrasses you or makes you feel ashamed (for example, if apartner puts you down but tells you that he or she loves you)
  • threatens to harm you if you leave the relationship
  • twists the truth to make you feel you are to blame for your partner's actions
  • demands to know where you are at all times
  • always becomes jealous or angry when you want to spend time with your friends
  • makes unwanted sexual advances that make you feel uncomfortable
  • says things like "If you loved me, you would . . . "

What should I do if I suspect a friend/family member is a victim of Family Violence?

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, phone 911.

If you suspect that a child may be abused, neglected or exposed to family violence, phone your local Child and Family Services Authority, the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-387-KIDS(5437) or the police.

You can help. Learn the family violence warning signs, what to do and where to get help. For information about family violence resources available in your community, phone the 24-hour Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818, toll-free in Alberta.

People impacted by family violence turn first to those they trust. This is usually extended family, friends, neighbors or spiritual leaders. They may know how best to promote safety and respect within their communities.

Can a man be abused? Are there shelters for men?

Between 1999 and 2004, more than half a million men in Canada had a female partner who was violent toward them. The partner might have been a wife, an ex-wife or a common-law partner. This means about six per cent of men in intimate relationships have experienced abuse or violence from their partners. [StatisticsCanada (2006, October). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends 2006 (CatalogueNo.85-570-XIE). Ottawa, ON: Author.]

The Wheatland Shelter located in Strathmore accepts men who are fleeing abuse.

Is there an Emergency Shelter in Drumheller for individuals fleeing abuse?

Although Drumheller doesn't have an emergency shelter at this time,individuals fleeing abusive situations may access the following shelters:

Wheatland Shelter – 24 hr Crisis Line 1-877-934-6634.
Information on the shelter may also be obtained by visiting their website http://wheatland.albertashelters.com/

Brooks and District Women's Safe Shelter Society - 403-362-2766 (Shelter)
Information on the shelter may also be obtained by visiting their website http://cantarasafehouse.ca/

Central Alberta Women's Emergency Shelter (Red Deer) – 24 hr Crisis Line 1-888-346-5643.
Information on the shelter may also be obtained by visiting their website http://www.cawes.com/

Individuals requiring assistance with transportation to any of these shelters cancontact Alberta Employment and Industry for financial support. If the situation is emergent it is best to contact the RCMP (911) or Victim Services (403-823-4233).

What do I need to take if I am leaving an abusive situation?

Collect as many as you safely can of the ones you have:

  • Alberta Health Care cards
  • Birth certificates
  • Social Insurance Cards
  • Immunization cards for children
  • Credits cards
  • Immigration papers
  • Bank cards
  • Treaty cards
  • Personal identification
  • Cheque books
  • Last bank statements
  • Mortgage papers
  • Loan papers
  • Tax records
  • Prescriptions
  • Marriage certificate
  • Copies of bills with account numbers
  • Photos and sentimental items
  • Car registration
  • Insurance – car, home, life, rental
  • School records
  • Passports
  • Wills
  • Investment records - including RRSPs & RESPs

What financial supports are available to someone fleeing Family Violence?

Supports for Albertans Fleeing Abuse Fund.

Albertans in an abusive situation can get help 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Alberta Works. All they need to do is call 1-866-644-5135 toll free or 823-1616 in Drumheller to find out what is available. Please note that these financial supports are available through Alberta Works, providing the program's eligibility criteria aremet.

BCAVA Emergency Fund

The Big Country Anti Violence Association also has an emergency fund that has been established to assist with emergency transportation to a safe place and emergency accommodations if a shelter is full or transportationis unable to be arranged immediately. For more information on the Emergency Fund contact Judy Nelson (Victim Services) at 403-823-4233.

Does a person fleeing family violence have to leave their home community/job in order to get help?

The decision to remain in one's home community/job would be dependent on an individual's circumstances. It would be recommended that the individual take a thorough assessment of the resources and supports available to them as well as evaluating the ability to maintain personal/family safety. If you would like assistance in completing a risk assessment please contact the Wheatland Shelter 24 HR Crisis Line at 1-877-934-6634.

What resources are available for men wanting to adopt healthy strategies to improve their relationships and stay violence free?

The Community Crisis Society in partnership with AHS-Addiction and Mental Health Office offers a 15 week information and discussion group targeting these topics. The group is confidential and requires that participants complete a pre-program interview. Sessions are held in the evenings and generally two hours in length; the program is largely focused and experiential in its approach.

Call 1-403-820-7863 for the next session dates and to arrange your pre-program interview.