Educational Resources

5 Things You Should Know About Family Violence

5 Things You Should Know About Family Violence

Family Violence
“ Family violence” is a term that includes many different forms of physical or psychological abuse or neglect. It can be experienced by adults or children in a family.

1. There are May Forms of Violence

Many forms of family violence are crimes, including:

• physical abuse (such as hitting, punching, kicking, burning, cutting, stabbing, forcibly confining or shooting);

• some forms of psychological abuse (such as threatening violence, destroying property, stalking),

• financial abuse (such as taking a pay cheque, failing to provide the necessaries of life).

Other forms of family violence are not crimes but are often signs that violence will get worse (such as yelling, humiliating, controlling movements).

2. Family Viloence is Serious

Family violence can have serious – and sometimes fatal – consequences for victims and those that witness the violence.

3. Where to Get Help

If your spouse physically or psychologically abused you or your children, your family’s future safety becomes of primary concern. There are many people and organizations available to help you in this situation, such as lawyers, social workers, counsellors, support groups or your local shelter or transition house.

4. Counselling

Traditional mediation or counselling with your spouse may not be appropriate in these circumstances. However, in some provinces or territories, specialized counselling procedures have been developed to support couples when there are concerns about violence. Working together doesn’t always mean sitting in the same room.

5. More Info

You can learn more and obtain further information about family violence at

Stay in Touch

Keep learning about the latest issues in Ontario family law! Subscribe to our newsletter, have our latest articles delivered to your inbox, or listen to our Podcast Family Law Now.

Be sure to find out more about the "new normal", by visiting our Covid-19 and Divorce Information Centre.

About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the Founder & Senior Partner of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.