Warning Signs of Abuse
Increasing the community’s knowledge and recognition of the warning signs of abuse is one of the key objectives of the Kanawayhitowin campaign. The following will give you a base on which to gage your own experiences, help someone else or begin discussions in your community about the signs of abuse.
Warning signs he may be abusive
- He puts her down.
- He tries to keep her away from you.
- He does all the talking and dominates the conversation.
- He checks up on her all the time, even at work.
- He tries to suggest he is the victim and acts depressed.
- He acts as if he owns her.
- He lies to make himself look good or exaggerates his good qualities.
- He acts like he is superior and of more value than others in his home.
Warning signs she may be experiencing abuse
- She may be apologetic and make excuses for his behaviour or become aggressive and angry.
- Warning signs she may be experiencing abuse
- She is nervous about talking when he’s there.
- She seems to be sick more often and misses work.
- She tries to cover her bruises.
- She makes excuses at the last minute about why she can’t meet you or she tries to avoid you on the street.
- She seems sad, lonely, withdrawn and is afraid.
- She uses more drugs or alcohol to cope.
Indicators for risk of future harm – the danger may be greater if…
- He is a victim of Residential School abuses or other historical trauma and has not received help.
- He is going through major life changes (e.g. job, separation, depression.)
- He is convinced she is seeing someone else.
- He blames her for ruining his life.
- He doesn’t seek support.
- He watches her actions, listens to her telephone conversations, reads her emails and follows her.
- He has trouble keeping a job.
- He takes drugs or drinks every day.
- He has no respect for the law.
- He has access to her and her children.
- He has access to weapons.
- He has a history of abuse with her or others.
- He has threatened to harm or kill her is she leaves him: He says “If I can’t have you, no one will.”
- He threatens to harm her children, other family members, her pets or her property.
- He has threatened to kill himself.
- He has hit her, choked her.
- She is a victim of Residential School abuses or other historical trauma and has not received help.
- She has just separated or is planning to leave.
- She fears for her life and for her children’s safety or she is in denial and cannot see the risk.
- She is in custody battle, or has children from a previous relationship.
- She is involved in another relationship.
- She has unexplained injuries.
- She has no access to a phone.
- She faces other obstacles (e.g. she does not speak English, lives in a remote area).
- She has no friends or family, or none close by.