Domestic Violence Resources
Any form of violence at any time is never acceptable
- If you are in an abusive relationship, or you know someone who may be, call province-wide domestic violence information /crisis line 1-877-977-0007 or text 204-792-5302 or 204-805-6682
- If you are in immediate danger, call 911
- Police emergency line: 911
- Winnipeg police non-emergency line: 204-986-6222
The Crisis Lines are open to anyone who needs help with any issue. The counsellors will help you understand your problem and provide support. They will help you find new ways of coping and understand your strengths and values. They will treat you with compassion and will not judge you. The counsellors can also refer you to other specialists and resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
The United Nations mentions that “gender-based violence refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on gender.” It is not about jealousy or love but Power and control.
If you are fearful in your own home, then it is a sign of an abusive home.
Here are some warning signs of controlling or abusive behavior:
- Calls you names, make jokes at your expense or humiliates you in private or in front of others.
- Threatens to use physical force to harm you.
- Monitors your phone calls, text messages, WhatsApp, email, Facebook or any social media.
- Refuses to let you make phone calls or keep in touch with your family or friends.
- Follows you in a way that makes you fearful.
- Blames you for their abusive behavior and tells you it is your fault they behave that way.
- Destroys your possessions or your belongings.
- Constantly question where you were and who you were talking to.
- If you are financially dependent on him, he has unreasonable control over finances and refuses to tell you about your family’s financial situation.
- Steels your money or uses your cards without your knowledge.
- Forces you to take part in dangerous or criminal activities.
- Hides your keys, bag, passport, and other belongings so you can’t leave.
- Threatens to kill you or others if you leave.
- Threatens to kill themselves if you leave.
- Threatens to turn you to immigration or police if you leave.
- Threatens to send you back home and take the children away from you.
- Uses physical force (push, punch, slap, choke, shake you or uses objects or weapons to harm or threaten to harm you.
Many people who live with family violence don’t ask for help. Most often, the only way family and friends know that something’s wrong is by recognizing the signs of family violence:
- Frequent injuries from what the victim calls “accidents.”
- Increased isolation from family and friends.
- Jumpiness, depression or anxiety.
- Loss or decrease in self-esteem as a result of the abuse.
- Avoidance of any form of confrontation.
- A dramatic change in manner, mood or physical appearance.
- Excessive coping behaviors: over-eating, smoking, substance abuse, excessive shopping.
- Expressed fear of partner.
- Partner’s jealousy or possessiveness.
- Constant criticism from a partner.
If you know or suspect that a family member or friend is living with family violence:
- Let them know that the abuse is NOT their fault.
- Be supportive and LISTEN.
- Let them know there is help available and help them find resources.
- Do not give up on them, even if they do not accept help at first.
Note: Resources and services for people living with family violence are voluntary. If you call an agency for help on behalf of a family member or friend, the agency will give you suggestions on how to assist your loved one. Agencies cannot help victims unless they are willing to accept help. People caught in the cycle of violence often reject help at first. Don’t force them into getting help. Be supportive and give them the time they need to want outside help.
Tips for talking to someone who is being abused:
- Speak to the person being abused alone, in a safe, private place.
- Discuss options, and encourage the person to make their own decisions. Telling the person being abused that they "have to do" something only takes away more of their power.
- Encourage the person being abused to call the province-wide domestic violence information/crisis line (1-877-977-0007), or to speak with other support services.
- Suggest that they develop a safety plan in case of emergency (for help doing so, call the domestic violence information/crisis line at 1-877-977-0007).
- Encourage the person being abused to be cautious about using computers, text messaging, etc., as the abusive person may be monitoring their online activities.
- Offer to help in ways that you are comfortable with and feel safe doing. Be clear with yourself and the person being abused about what kind of support you can give.
- Avoid making negative comments about the abusive person. Otherwise, the person being abused may feel the need to defend them and minimize the abuse.
- Respect their privacy. Keep the information confidential unless the person being abused specifically asks you to talk to someone about it, or if you are required to do so by law (if a person under 18 years old is being abused or is at risk).
Creating a Protection plan is an extremely important step if you consider leaving an abusive relationship. Leaving an abusive partner is the most dangerous time as the abuser feels they are losing power over their victim. They can become more controlling, threatening, or violent.
When thinking of a Protection Plan, think of these:
- How does the person behave before an attack? What signs can you watch for? Are alcohol or drugs involved?
- What help is available (ex: crisis line 1-877-977-0007; or someone you can trust to help).
- All possible escape routes from your home.
- A safe place where you and your children can go (ex: a shelter; home of a friend or family).
- How you will get to the safe place (ex: car, bus, someone who’ll pick you up).
- How to get to a phone to call for help (ex: get a cell phone; keep money or change handy).
- Who to call if you are in immediate danger (the police at 911).
If you are not in immediate danger and have time to pack a few things before you go, you should probably pack:
- Cash, bank and/or credit cards.
- Identification for you and your children, ex: birth certificates, driver’s license, health card, passports etc.
- Keys – for your house and/or car.
- Personal items – clothing, medication and toiletries.
- Items for your children – clothing, toys, medications, diapers or bottles.
Along with writing down and practicing your protection plan, there are other ways to keep safe:
- Talk about your plan with your children and other family members who may be at risk.
- Find a good counsellor or a trusted person to talk to or call a crisis line.
- Practice evacuating your home, in case you need to do it quickly.
- Set a codeword or phrase with people you trust and talk to regularly on the phone as a signal you’re in danger - something you can say that will not alert the person behaving abusively. For example, “I like strawberry ice cream.” could be a signal for the person on the line to call 911 right away and send the police to you.
- If you have neighbours that can help, you can develop a visual signal that would alert them that you need immediate assistance. You could switch the outside light on and off several times to signal your neighbours to call 911. You can also give your neighbour a spare key to your vehicle if you need to leave quickly.
Health Sciences Centre Emergency in Winnipeg provides forensic nursing services to adult and adolescent patients who self-disclose as a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV). The IPV forensic window is 10 days prior to patient presentation, and examinations will be performed for patients with any physical or sexual assault (SA), including strangulation.
The process to access Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) for intimate partner violence (IPV) is exactly the same as for a sexual assault exam:
- The patient discloses IPV / SA within the last 10 days.
- Contact: (204)-787-2071.
- Serious injury / medical stability must be managed prior to a SANE forensic examination.
If you and your children need immediate protection, you can apply for a protection order. This is a court order, given in an emergency, which forbids the abuser (the respondent) from having any contact with you (the applicant).
If you have been stalked or are a victim of family violence, and you believe the behaviour will continue, you can get a protection order. You don’t have to wait until you are actually injured to get help. There is no cost to apply for one. However, applying for a protection order does not mean you will automatically be granted one.
Manitoba Justice, through victim services, can help with protection orders, legal questions, custody and the rights of victims.
Learn more about the Domestic Violence Support Service (DVSS).
- Community Legal Education Association: For legal information or a referral to a lawyer – CLEA provides Law Phone-In & Lawyer Referral Program.
- Legal Aid Manitoba (LAM) works to ensure that eligible Manitobans have access to justice, including those who are disadvantaged and facing a well-resourced individual or entity in court.
- For the sake of the children program.
- Family resolution service.
If you are employed and have been experiencing intimate partner violence in your relationship, you may be entitled to leave from your employment. Employees can use domestic violence leave.
For more information, click here.
In Manitoba, under The Residential Tenancies Act, you can end your residential tenancy agreement if you:
- Are a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking.
- You currently feel unsafe in your home or believe there is a risk to your and/or your children’s safety if you stay in your rental unit as a result of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking (includes physical, emotional or psychological safety).
For more information, click here.
If you are experiencing intimate partner abuse, you get a special residence permit called TRP (Temporary Residence Permit) to stay in Canada. It will give you legal immigration status in Canada. You can also get this permit for your children if they are in Canada.
In Canada, you do not have to testify against your abuser to get temporary resident status.
For more information, click here.