Warning Signs

It can be difficult to label your relationship or identify you partner’s hurtful behaviour as abuse. It may help to think about relationships existing on a spectrum ranging from healthy to unhealthy to abusive. Healthy relationships are safe, respectful, fair, and supportive. In a healthy relationship, partners feel free to voice their concerns and establish boundaries.

Are you able to speak openly with your partner? Is it safe to say what you are and aren’t comfortable with when it comes to sex, life, family and friends, personal space and time? Do you feel heard when you express your feelings? Is your partner receptive?

Our intent is to provide you with information and support as you assess your relationship.



Does your partner…

• use technology to check up on you or require you to “check in”?
• accuse you of being unfaithful?
• humiliate you in front of family or friends or on social media?
• discourage you from seeing friends or family?
• act possessive or jealous?
• embarrass or shame you with put-downs?
• control every dollar spent, take your money or refuse to give you money for expenses?
• behave in ways that scare you?
• control who you see, where you go, what you do?
• tell you that you are a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
• destroy your property or threaten to hurt you?
• intimidate you?
• yell or swear at you?
• criticize you for daily things, such as your cooking, clothes, and/or appearance?
• pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with?



The Cycle of Violence and Power & Control Wheel are tools to help you examine your partner’s behaviour.

cycle of violence




The Power & Control Wheel illustrates the pattern of actions that an individual uses to intentionally control or dominate intimate partners. The wheel makes the pattern, intent and impact of violence visible.

control wheel



You may see your partner’s behaviour has a pattern and a purpose. Their behaviour is deliberate with the intent to control you. As you reflect on your partner’s behaviour, consider how it is affecting you and your children.

We recognize that exploring your relationship can be difficult work. Be sure to connect with trusted supports. Our support workers are also available to support you during this process.


Is This Abuse? Love is Respect

When Love Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Understanding Abuse in Relationships, 2008. Jill Cory and Karen McAndless-Davis, WomanKind Press, New Westminster, BC.

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