You are not alone.
Being a young person today isn’t easy. You have to deal with homework, chores, curfews and dating. There’s pressure to fit in at school, get good grades, and make your parents happy. For some young people, their relationship with their parents can be annoying or embarrassing at times, but otherwise “normal”. They feel safe and secure at home, and they know their parents will protect them. But for young people who are abused, family life is much different.
If you’re being abused or are exposed to family violence, the most important thing to know is you are not alone. You don’t deserve to be abused. Family violence is a serious issue; some forms are criminal. There is help for you and anyone affected by abuse. There are also things you can do to protect yourself and others who are affected by family violence.
If you suspect someone that is experiencing family violence, please call the Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818 to find out how you can help. This 24 hour number is toll-free and available 7 days a week.
What is abuse?
Abuse is a pattern of controlling behaviour. In families, an abusive person can use many tactics to gain power over another family member. Read more about:
Where to go for help
- If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
- Emergency protection orders, restraining orders and peace bonds are some of the legal ways to stop an abuser from contacting someone. Have your parent/guardian or a trusted adult help you obtain one.
- Visit www.familyviolence.alberta.ca or call the 24-hour Family Violence Info Line toll free at 310-1818
- Call the Bullying Help Line at 1-888-456-2323
- Schools, colleges or universities often have counsellors or student programs that can help people who are in abusive dating relationships.
- Specialized services are available for high-risk victims of family violence. Contact your local police or women’s shelter for more information. Locate a shelter in your area.
- Supports for Albertans fleeing abuse – Alberta Works
- Specialized services for Aboriginal People
How to stay safe
If you are in an abusive relationship, there are several things you should do:
- Talk to someone you trust like a friend, family member, doctor, teacher or counsellor.
- Create a safety plan so you know what to do if you need to leave an abusive situation. The plan should include who to call, where to go, how to get there and what to bring with you. You should also have a back-up plan in case things do not go the way you expect.
- Learn about the laws that protect people from family violence. Emergency protection orders, restraining orders and peace bonds are some of the legal ways to stop an abuser from contacting someone. Look into these options and ask a parent/guardian or trusted adult to help you access them if necessary.
- Find out about resources and services in your community to help people affected by family violence and abuse.
- You should NOT confront a violent person. It could be dangerous. Leave and call for help.
Cover your tracks
An abuser can track your Internet activities, including websites you have visited and searches you have done. There are ways to cover your tracks online but you need to be careful. If your abuser is comfortable with computers and sees that you have deleted files, he or she may get angry or suspicious. If this is a possibility, try to use a different computer, like one at the library, work or a friend’s house. Read more about:
Justice Canada Website
The Family, Children and Youth Section of Justice Canada, through the Family Violence Initiative, has launched a website to inform youth about family violence.
The site gives information on:
- types of abuse or violence that can occur in families;
- laws and other ways family violence is dealt with in Canada;
- how to get help; and
- what young people can expect when they seek help.
The site is intended for youth who are experiencing family violence or know someone who is.
The Government of Canada has developed this website which features links to information on domestic violence for Aboriginal people, kids, parents, seniors, teachers and youth.
The Family Violence Info Line 310-1818 helps Albertans reach out to individuals and families affected by family violence. Help is available anytime, toll-free provincewide, in more than 170 languages.