What is family violence and how to get help

An illustration showing the effects of domestic violence: a woman with a black eye with a family member behind her.

Original image  by Senior Airman Rusty Frank.  Public Domain

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Family violence (or domestic violence) is abusive behavior from family members. It can be:

  • physical
  • sexual
  • mental
  • emotional or
  • financial

It also includes threats of abuse. It is abuse when a family member says what they will do harm to you.

Examples of abuse:

  • you are forced to get married to someone you do not want to marry
  • you are forced to get an abortion (end a pregnancy)
  • you are not allowed to leave the house or apartment
  • someone is following or watching you wherever you go (stalking)

Read Breaking the cycle of domestic violence. Know about the signs of family violence and how to get help.

Groups at risk

Women, children, older adults and persons with disabilities often become victims of abuse.

Newcomers to Canada can also suffer from domestic violence. Some do not know that they can get help. Others are afraid to ask for help because they do not know how to speak in English or French. Settlement service providers can help newcomers in Manitoba. Go to Manitoba Family Services site: Help for Immigrants.

You have rights even if you are not a Canadian citizen. You do not have to suffer abuse of any kind.

Family Violence Prevention Program

Call the Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP) for help to stop family violence. The Crisis Phone Line (1-877-977-0007) is toll-free. It is free. You will not be charged for calling.

Talk to counsellors or groups. They offer support and encouragement. They can offer places to stay (shelters) to help someone who needs to leave their home.

Help for children

Children living in a family with violence are the most troubled. They are affected by what they hear, see or experience at home. Stress affects their development. It causes emotional, behavioral, social and psychological problems.

Help for children is available from these agencies:
Wahbung 204-925-4670 (Winnipeg)
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Inc. 204-925-0300 (Winnipeg)
Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (toll free)
Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad 204-586-2588 (Winnipeg)
Klinic 204-786-8686 (Winnipeg), 1-888-322-3019 (toll free)
Suicide Prevention Line 1-877-435-7170 (toll free)
Ka Ni Kanichihk 204-953-5820 (Winnipeg)
MacDonald Youth Services 204-477-1722 (Winnipeg)
New Directions 204-786-7051 (Winnipeg)
Resource Assistance for Youth 204-783-5617 (Winnipeg)
Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg 204-982-4940 (Winnipeg)
Willow Place (for women and children) – 24-HOUR CRISIS LINE: 204-615-0311 OR 1-877-977-0007
Sources: Manitoba.ca (Family Services/Family Violence Protection Program); Manitoba Justice website. Updated February 8, 2019.

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Community Resources

Get this directory of resources and supports in Manitoba for victims of domestic violence.

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