You are not alone.
If you are in an abusive relationship, the most important thing to know is that you are not alone and you do not deserve to be abused. Family violence is a serious social issue and some forms are criminal. There is help available to protect you and anyone affected by the abuse, including children. 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.
Family violence may include some or all of the following behaviours: physical abuse, psychological abuse, criminal harassment/stalking, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse and spiritual abuse. Victims of family violence include spouses, dating and common-law partners, people in same-sex and LGBTQ* relationships, children and teens, people with disabilities and older adults.
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
Know your rights
Family violence is a serious social issue and some forms are criminal. 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.
A victim of family violence has the right to:
- be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect;
- be safe from violence;
- have the maximum protection from harm or abuse permitted by law;
- seek information about legal rights and assistance from community resources; and
- access a Court of Queen's Bench protection order, restraining order or peace bond from the courts, or an emergency protection order in urgent circumstances.
If you are in an abusive relationship, you have the right to leave. 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. Learn about the laws that protect people from family violence.
- Visit http://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 or other professional.
- 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.
- 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.
What to tell your children
If you have children, you must keep them safe at all times. To ensure their safety, you need to talk to them about what is going on. Don't try to pretend it's not happening.
- Make sure children know that even though the adults in their home do not get along, the children are not to blame and the abuse is not their fault.
- Tell your children exactly what they should do in an emergency. If something does happen, they need to be prepared. Don't scare them but be clear about what they should do. Should they go to a friend or neighbour's house and wait for you? Should they call 911? Having a plan can make a huge difference in an emergency situation.
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: