Legal Aid BC: What is abuse? Part 2


Submitted by Nate Prosser, Legal Aid BC,
Edited by Nila Gopaul • Illustrations by Danette Byatt
What is abuse? Part 2/6

Sally and her children
are not living in their home.
They are staying with a friend.

They left because Sally’s husband hits her.

Sally is visiting Lisa.
Lisa is a community worker.
That means that Lisa helps people
who are in Sally’s situation.
Lisa is telling Sally about abuse.

“Abuse is more than just hitting,”
Lisa explains.

Abuse is when someone uses threats
or violence to control their partner.

There are many types of abuse: 
hitting you, saying they will hit you, or breaking things is physical abuse;


verbal abuse and emotional abuse can be yelling at you, threatening you,
or stopping you from talking to your friends or family;



if your partner controls what you can do
or listens to your phone calls
that can be psychological abuse;


sexual abuse is when your partner makes you
have sex when you don’t want to;


and if your partner controls your money
or stops you from making money
that can be financial abuse.


“Is it abuse if he does these things to my kids?” Sally asks.

“Yes,” Lisa answers.
“You should also know
that abuse is never your fault.”

“I’ve left the house already,
but I don’t know what to do next,” Sally says.


Lisa tells Sally, “You’ve taken the first step already.
There are other people that can help
with money and staying safe.”

“I need help like that,” says Sally.

“I can help you apply for money
if your husband controls your bank account.
We can make a safety plan.
We can go apply for legal aid
to see if you can get a free lawyer
to help you,” Lisa says.

Illustrations by Danette Byatt


Legal Aid BC logo

Learn what Sally does next in part 3.

For more information about family violence,
click here to visit the Legal Aid BC website.