When behaviour is abuse

Tia recognizes that her husband’s controlling behaviour is abuse and that she has options.

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If you find yourself in this position, you can get help from these resources:

What is abuse?
Lists examples of relationship abuse (family violence) that are physical, emotional or verbal, psychological, sexual, and financial; describes types of abuse that are crimes and where to get help.

If your spouse is harassing you through the courts
Describes the kinds of behaviour involved in court-related abuse and harassment and suggests what can be done about it.

Live Safe, End Abuse
Information about relationship abuse that explain what abuse is and where people can get help.


Panel 1: Tia and Karen at Tia's house, hugging
Tia: It’s so nice to see you, Karen. I always feel so alone.

Panel 2: 
Karen: I know, but we shouldn’t have to visit secretly only when he’s out, Tia. It’s not normal.

Panel 3: Tia and Karen preparing to sit at a table
Tia: You know he doesn’t like me to have friends over. Or friends at all really.
Karen: That’s abuse, Tia. He’s controlling your every move.

Panel 4: Close-up of Tia
Tia: Oh no, it’s not abuse. He’s never hit me.

Panel 5: Tia and Karen chatting, Karen thinking of her partner putting his wallet in his pocket
Karen: Abuse isn’t just hitting. It’s still abuse even if it’s the stuff he does like not letting you have any money.

Panel 6: Tia and Karen colouring as they chat
Tia: Well, I guess it is his money.
Karen: No, what he earns is family money. Besides, he hasn’t let you have a job since you came to Canada!

Panel 7:
Tia: I know – he’s so suspicious and critical. Maybe if I could just get him to trust me more.

Panel 8:
Karen: Tia, this is not your fault. Abuse against you is never your fault. He’s the problem. You don’t need to change – you need to get help.

Panel 9: Tia covering her face
Tia: I’m trapped, Karen. I don’t have any savings or income.
Karen: But I can help you apply for money, other benefits, and even for housing.

Panel 10: Vision of Karen being welcomed into an office
Karen: Look, I know about a website with info about abuse, and about trained people who can help you, even in your own language.

Panel 11: Aerial view of Tia and Karen colouring at the table
Tia: Thank you, Karen. You know, despite everything, I still don’t hate him.
Karen: Yes, that’s natural. It’s because you’re a nice person.

Panel 12: Karen holding out a coloured heart drawing for Tia
Karen: And it’s also why you deserve so much better.