Abuse is not restricted to intimate relationships. The misuse of power – intimidation, isolation, humiliation, fear, threats, putdowns – may also be evident in friendships, families or workplace.


How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship?

Abuse may involve the use of physical, emotional or sexual behaviour to control and maintain power over another person. Sometimes the subtle forms of abuse can be hard to identify, but if you pay attention to how you feel, it is a good clue. Any healthy positive relationship takes some time and effort to develop, but it shouldn’t hurt, either physically or emotionally. There are many warning signs that often go unnoticed or dismissed as unimportant. Trust your feelings – if you feel humiliated, controlled or afraid, your relationship may be abusive. For more information, go to About Abuse or check out “The Goods” in alovethatkills.com

What can I do if I am in a negative relationship?

Recognizing and acknowledging that there is a problem in your relationship is the first step to stopping the abuse. Whether you are being victimized or are the one who is hurting someone else, do not try to face your problem alone. Asking for help is a sign of courage and there are many people who can help you. Resources. Remember that behaviour is a choice and you alone are responsible for your actions and how you treat others. See About Abuse/Own Your Behaviour for more information

How can I help to bring this topic to my school?

We believe that young people will make safe and positive choices if they have the knowledge, skills and support they need. We have developed a 6-lesson program called CHOICES for Positive Youth Relationships that many schools across Canada are quite excited about. Find out more about the program by clicking on CHOICES for Positive Youth Relationships and then take it to your school principal or Guidance teacher or your safe school committee.

How can I help a friend?

Simply being there to listen without criticism or judgement can help a friend. That doesn’t mean you need to condone abuse, but remember to talk about behaviour rather than criticizing the person. Respect your friend’s feelings and try to find ways to bolster his/her self esteem. Support your friend in whatever ways you can even if s/he does not act the way you believe is in his/her best interest. Getting away from an abusive situation takes a lot of courage and sometimes a long time. Help your friend to find and talk to other people who can offer her or him expert assistance. More suggestions in About Abuse/Support Tips