Publisher's Note

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    by CK May is the month of flowers not just in the Philippines but also here in Calgary.  A lot of my neighbors have done their spring cleaning and unfortunately I cannot cope up with them.  I remember that during this time of the year my husband, Hank gets busier day by day.  He takes care [...]

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Page added on March 24, 2017

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Domestic Abuse

Everyone gets angry from time to time. Anger and arguments are normal parts of healthy relationships. But anger that leads to threats, hitting, or hurting someone is not normal or healthy. This is a form of abuse. Physical, verbal, or sexual abuse is not okay in any relationship. When it occurs between spouses or partners or in a dating relationship, it is called domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is also called intimate partner violence or domestic violence. It is not the same as an occasional argument. It is a pattern of abuse used by one person to control another.

In addition to violence between intimate partners:

  • Teens may experience dating abuse.
  • Older adults can be targets of both domestic abuse and elder abuse.

Both men and women experience domestic abuse. It is a common form of violent behaviour and is a major problem in Canada. A national survey reported that 8% of women and 7% of men experienced some type of violence from their intimate partner. It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what race or religion they are, no matter what their level of education is or how much money they make.

Signs of abuse

Does your partner:

  • Embarrass you with put-downs?
  • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
  • Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
  • Take your money or paychecks, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
  • Make all of the decisions?
  • Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
  • Prevent you from working or going to school?
  • Act like the abuse is no big deal or is your fault, or even deny doing it?
  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
  • Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?
  • Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
  • Threaten to commit suicide?
  • Threaten to kill you?
  • Prevent you from using birth control or from protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV?

If any of these things are happening, you need to get help. It’s important to know that you are not alone. The way your partner acts is not your fault. There is no excuse for domestic violence. Help is available.

Domestic abuse and your health

Living in an abusive relationship can cause long-term health problems. Some of these health problems include:

  • Physical problems, such as migraine headaches; arthritis; or long-term neck, back, belly, or pelvic pain.
  • Mental health problems, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol or drug abuse.

Women who are sexually abused by their partners have a greater chance of having sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and other problems.

Violence can get worse during pregnancy. Abused women are more likely to have problems such as low weight gain, anemia, infections, and bleeding during pregnancy. Abuse during this time may increase the baby’s risk of low birth weight, premature birth, or death.

How to get help

Abusers often blame the victim for the abuse. They may say “you made me do it.” This is not true. People are responsible for their own actions. They may say they are sorry and tell you it will never happen again, even though it already has.

After abuse starts, it usually gets worse if you don’t take steps to stop it. If you are in an abusive relationship, ask for help. This may be hard, but know that you are not alone. Your family, friends, fellow church members, employer, doctor, or local police department, hospital, or clinic can help you.

DOMESTIC ABUSE: HOME TREATMENT

After abuse starts, it usually gets worse if steps are not taken to stop it. If you are in an abusive relationship, ask for help. This may be hard, but know that you are not alone.

To report abuse or to get help, contact your provincial health authority. Each province has resources to help.

If you are in an abusive relationship, it is very important to develop a plan for dealing with a threatening situation. If your partner has threatened to harm you or your child, seek help.

  • Anytime you are in danger, call 911.
  • If you do not have a safe place to stay, tell a friend, a religious counsellor, or your doctor. Do not feel that you have to hide what is happening with an abusive partner.
  • Have a safety plan for how to leave your house, where to go, where to stay, and what to take in case you need to get out quickly.
  • Do not tell your partner about your plan so you stay safe once you are away.

Here are some other things you can do:

  • If you are seeing a counsellor, be sure to go to all appointments.
  • Teach your children how to call for help in an emergency.
  • Be alert to warning signs, such as threats or drinking. This can help you avoid danger.
  • If you can, make sure that there are no guns or other weapons in your home.
  • If you are working, contact your human resources department or employee assistance program to find out what help is available to you.

If you are no longer living with a violent partner, contact the police to get a restraining order if your abuser continues to pursue you, threaten you, or act violently toward you.

If you have been a victim of abuse and continue to have problems related to the abuse, you may have depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more information, see the topics Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If you know someone who may be abused

Here are some things you can do to help a friend or family member.

  • Let your friend know that you are willing to listen whenever she or he wants to talk. Don’t confront your friend if she or he is not ready to talk. Encourage your friend to talk with her or his health professional, human resources manager, and supervisor to see what resources might be available.
  • Tell your friend that the abuse is not her or his fault and that no one deserves to be abused. Remind your friend that domestic violence is against the law and that help is available. Be understanding if she or he is unable to leave. Your friend knows the situation best and when it is safest to leave.
  • If your friend has children, gently point out that you are concerned that the violence is affecting them. Many people do not understand that their children are being harmed until someone else talks about this concern.
  • Encourage and help your friend develop a plan for staying safe while in an abusive relationship. Help if she or he is preparing to leave a violent relationship. Learn about how the person can stay safe after leaving.
  • The most dangerous time for your friend may be when she or he is leaving the abusive relationship, so any advice about leaving must be informed and practical.

The most important step is to help your friend contact local domestic violence groups. There are programs across the country that provide options for safety, support, needed information and services, and legal support.

To report abuse or to get help, contact your provincial health authority. Each province has resources to help.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

If problems from domestic abuse become more frequent or severe, call your doctor to determine if and when you need to see your doctor or get other help.

For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call health Link at 811.

Source: www. myhealth.alberta.ca









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