Supporting and helping
Supporting and helping
14 messages to convey to a victim of intimate partner violence
Unmasking intimate partner violence
Yesterday, my best friend lent me her phone to do some research while she went to the counter to order food... and her partner started texting her... and what I read worried me. I saw threats, and disrespect. He demanded to know where she was, and why she didn't call him right away when he asked her to. When my friend came back, I showed her the messages and she became extremely nervous. She took her phone back and started to text him. 10 minutes later she said she had a stomach ache and that she needed to go home . But I think her partner demanded that she go home.
Friends & Family
My daughter was experiencing a lot of emotional abuse from her partner. Every time I wanted to talk to her about it, she would shut me out or change the subject. It made me very angry because I could clearly see the hold he had on her. Plus, she wouldn't call me or if we talked, it would only last a few minutes. She rarely came to see me, and I missed her and my grandson. I felt helpless. I didn't know what to do anymore. I was so worried. I saw a poster about SOS violence conjugale at the CLSC and I took the chance to call them. I received support from the worker. She put me in contact with a counsellor, with whom I was able to talk about the situation and she helped me a lot.
Woman | Friends & Family | 68 years old
I was worried about my little sister. She was about to turn down a job opportunity because her boyfriend didn't want her to work there because his ex worked in the same building. I didn't know what to do... it was a colleague who suggested I call SOS for help. It helped me to respect my sister's choice, to understand that she was doing what was best for her in the here and now. But I won't hide the fact that it's hard to do.
Friends & Family
Frequently asked questions
It's hard to see that someone you love is being hurt by their partner. The first reflex you may have is to try to get them out of the situation or to convince them to leave as soon as possible. In reality, leaving a situation of intimate partner violence is very difficult and involves several issues that complicate the situation and threaten the safety of the victim and their children. This is why this type of approach should be avoided. It is useful to seek support before intervening. We are available to help you. You can contact one of our counsellors or consult the many SOS-INFOs available in the Tools section of our website.
If it is happening right now, it is important to contact emergency services immediately, as it is not possible for you to assess the potential for danger and potential for escalation, nor to know the will of the victim. In this case, don't take any chances and it is better to call 911. If you are uncomfortable calling 911 directly for any reason, you can call SOS and we will report the situation to the authorities on your behalf.
If it is a past event or something you were told, it is best not to call emergency services unless it is at the request of the victim. You can express your concerns to the victim and talk to them about our services. You can also call us or see the Tools section for tips on how to best help the victim.
The Tools section of this website contains numerous articles as well as intervention tools and testimonials from victims, family members and interveners. We invite you to explore this section to learn more about the issue and the best way to help those who are confronted with it.
Of course. There are several resources throughout Quebec whose mission is to support and help people who use violent behaviour and who wish to stop doing so. Contacting SOS violence conjugale allows you to access these services. If you realize that you have already experienced violence in an intimate relationship, you can get help for yourself and your family by calling us. This will allow you to rebuild the trust of your loved ones and to regain equal and harmonious relations in your intimate relationships.
No. SOS violence conjugale provides support, information and referrals to anyone concerned about the issue of conjugal violence. It serves victims as well as their children, loved ones, workers who are supporting victims and individuals who want to stop using violence in their intimate relationship.
Victims of intimate partner violence often first call us when they are confused about what is happening in their relationship and are in need of support in validating their perception of the situation and in assessing the issues at stake, in order to make informed decisions concerning their relationship. They also often call when they feel unsafe and need access to a safe space in a shelter, to ensure their safety and that of their children. They may also need medical care for injuries or stress-related health problems, help to manage the consequences of violence on their psychological well-being and that of their children, or support to reconstruct their social support network. Victims may also need accompaniment through legal procedures, help in finding housing, childcare, a job, access to foodbanks, etc.
Many resources are available to answer those needs. Intimate partner violence shelters throughout Quebec provide a safe place for victims and their children, as well as specialized individual or group support for residents and non-residents. Second-stage shelters provides housing to victims who are still in danger well after separating from a violent partner. CAVACs (victims assistance centres) provide information and support for victims of crime. Public safety can also help ensure the safety of victims in times of crisis or after. Women's centres promote and defend women's rights, provide counselling and support and help to break isolation. CLSCs provide services in the areas of physical and psychological health. IVAC provides compensation for crime victims and access to various resources to ensure their safety and recovery.
Numerous resources, in various categories, are available throughout Québec. SOS violence conjugale serves as a gateway to all services to simplify the conjugal violence referral process.