Family Violence Initiative

To the reader

This booklet contains information about family violence and abuse. It also contains suggestions about how to get help.

Family violence happens in all kinds of families, in all communities. It happens to Canadians and non-Canadians. It happens to people who are young and old. It happens between intimate partners* and between parents and children. It may be happening to you.

Family should be a safe place. Family members should treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of age or gender. Family violence or abuse is NOT acceptable.

If you are new to Canada, you might not be sure what the laws are, what your rights are, or where you can go for help. If you are new to Canada, you might be facing some normal challenges like culture shock.* You might be missing your family and friends. You might feel alone. You might not understand the language spoken around you. All of this might make it even more difficult to get help or to find someone to trust.

This booklet is for anyone who is new to Canada and might be living with abuse in a relationship or in a family. This booklet can also help you if you know a person who might be living with abuse. Maybe you can share the information from this booklet with that person.

If you are being abused, you should get help. There are people who can help you. You do not have to face it alone. You deserve to be safe. You have a right to be safe.

Disclaimer: Please note that this publication is not a legal document. It contains only general information. For legal advice about your situation, you may wish to speak with a lawyer.

Note: Words marked by an asterisk (*) are defined in the back of this book under "Words and phrases used in this booklet."

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