November 24, 2015
Knowing the Signs
All too often, women experiencing violence suffer alone – afraid to ask for help, and unsure of where to turn. Family and friends may suspect that something is wrong, but don’t know what to do.
Recognizing violence isn’t easy. Assessing the severity of it is even harder. The BC Ministry of Justice outlines some of the most serious risk factors. Although this list was developed to help police in their investigations, it can help anyone spot the signs of danger. These include:
- Recent or pending separation: This is often the most dangerous time for a woman fleeing violence.
- Increase in frequency or intensity of violence: More severe or more frequent violence may be part of a pattern of increased intensity.
- Choking, strangling, or biting: These acts of violence have potentially life-threatening injuries which may not be immediately obvious.
- Stalking: Controlling or coercive behaviours like stalking are often a sign that violence will escalate when a woman leaves.
- Fear of future violence: Women are experts in their own experience of violence. A woman who anticipates future violence is often right.
All forms of violence should be taken seriously. Those listed here, in particular, are associated with an increased risk of serious bodily harm, and even death.
In light of this, we have partnered with the Surrey RCMP’s Domestic Violence Unit to secure the safety of women whose lives are in greatest danger. By working together, we can make sure that a woman fleeing violence has access to all the tools and supports that she needs to secure her safety.
Of course, the signs aren’t always obvious. Violence can be emotional, verbal, or physical. More often than not, it happens behind closed doors. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing violence of any kind, seeking help is critical.
Call us at 604.583.1295 for help.