Abuse is More Than Just Physical

Abuse is more than just physical.

By Hana Cairns

6.2 million Canadian women, or 44% of those over 18, will experience abuse at some point in their lives. However, many people believe that if there aren’t bruises or blood, they are not being abused.  

Yet physical abuse is only one type of abuse people can experience.  

At the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, our aim is to ensure that everyone understands that abuse comes in many forms and provide resources for women and their children who are, or have, experiencing it. While this list is not exhaustive, it provides an overview of what other forms of abuse are prevalent and what these may look like in reality.  

  • Psychological Abuse such as gaslighting, excessive jealousy, humiliation, and lying.
  • Technological Abuse such as monitoring phone use or restricting access to the internet, threatening to share private photos or videos, and questioning use of social media.
  • Financial Abuse such as controlling access to money or using money as power.
  • Spiritual Abuse including using religious or spiritual beliefs to control behaviour.
  • Sexual Abuse includes unwanted touching, unwanted sexualized language, waking up to sexual assault or other sexual touching, rape.
  • Alienation from friends and family may feel like a demonstration of love but is actually isolating you from loved ones.

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter provides resources for women and their children experiencing abuse, including emergency transitional housing for those fleeing abuse, a second stage program for women who have left the abusive environment and are building their lives post-abuse, and an Outreach program to provide support for women in the community. We also have our PEACE program for youth aged 3-18 who have experienced abuse or trauma. Learn more about all our programs and resources here.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing abuse, please contact our 24/7 support line at 250.763.1040 and we will help.

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Abuse is never okay.
Asking for help is.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need us.
Our support team is on duty 24/ 7 and ready to help.

two ladies talking, one looking sad