Are you being abused? Are you looking for information to help you understand what’s happening and how to make positive choices for change?
If you are being abused, you need to know that you do not ‘deserve' it. You are not to blame for the violence or threats. Every human being has the right to live his or her own life without fear. There is nothing you can do to control the abuser's behaviour. The abuser is using abusive behaviour in an attempt to control you. If the abuse is allowed to continue it will probably get worse.
There are many services available on PEI that can help you. If you are not ready to do anything right now, that is your choice and it is okay. But you can find information about what you need to know, or do, if you decide to act later. Information gives you the ability to make personal choices.
If you live with violence, there are things you can do to protect yourself, including the following:
- Tell someone what is happening to you. People being abused are often isolated from family, friends and communities. Abusers often encourage this isolation. Because victims are ashamed or afraid, they allow it. If you don't have a friend, clergy or family member you feel you can talk to, call the Island Helpline, Victim Services or PEI Family Violence Prevention Services. These agencies understand abusive relationships and they know how to help. You do not have to give your name.
- Learn about options, including legal ones, available to you; Community Legal Information is a good place to start.
- Record incidents of abuse. If you can do this safely, a diary can help the police and the courts if you decide to do something later. Writing about what is happening to you is also a step towards healing.
- If you have been physically hurt, see your doctor or go to a hospital. You need to make sure your injuries are not serious or life threatening. You can choose to do this without making a police report. If you choose to file a police report, all injuries need to be reported and documented.
- Make a safety plan and, if you can do so safely, pack an emergency escape kit. Find more details along with determining your safe place.
Call 911 (the police) if you are in an emergency situation. You could also ask neighbours or friends to call for the police if they hear or see anything suspicious.