Do you feel good about your relationship with your partner? Do you feel free to say or do what you want? Intimate partner violence takes many forms and is often insidious.
Does your partner monitor your movements, check your phone messages or use threats to make you do things you don’t want to do? These are forms violence. You are not responsible for the behavior of others, and you have the right to a life free of violence.
Recognizing your situation and breaking the cycle of violence is never easy. It’s important to acknowledge it, to think carefully about what you can do about it, and to seek help when you need it.
Some ideas for breaking the cycle of violence
At the YWCA Montreal, providing information and support to women survivors of intimate partner violence is part of our mission. We support women through a range of programs and services, from awareness-raising workshops for youth in schools, to free legal consultations with volunteer lawyers, as well as job-search assistance groups focusing on women’s financial empowerment.
If you’re not sure that you’re in a healthy relationship with your partner, use our online questionnaire Is my relation healthy? to reflect on your situation.
Several entry points
In addition to addressing issues of violence in all our services, we have been offering ongoing support groups for women victims and survivors of intimate partner violence with the aim of breaking their isolation and freeing their voices in a safe and caring environment, supervised by experienced counsellors.
Our Legal Information Clinic can also act as a gateway to the resources needed to take legal steps to manage situations of violence. To this end, our volunteer lawyers offer affordable individual consultations for women on a variety of subjects, including family and civil law.
Resources for the community
Beyond our walls, our teams also reach out to other organizations and more remote audiences to help raise awareness and inform the public.
On November 29, our team joined the Montreal Police Department (SPVM) Neighbourhood Station 26 booth set up for the occasion at the CLSC Côte-des-Neiges, to take part in a citizen awareness activity organized as part of the 12 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women campaign.
Together with a number of organizations, such as the Centre d’Aide aux Victimes d’Actes Criminels (CAVAC), CIUSSS Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and other women’s centers and shelters, our team distributed pamphlets and promoted our services to the public. Several SPVM officers were also available to answer questions about their role as a pivot point between resources.
This networking activity facilitated a deeper understanding between organizations. establishing connections that will benefit the whole community.
To find out more
Support for women victims of violence
Have you experienced or are you experiencing violence in a relationship? Our support groups offer a safe, welcoming space where women can express themselves and share their experiences with other women who are experiencing or have experienced intimate partner violence. Our groups are offered in French and English to women – and anyone identifying themselves as a woman – aged 18 or over.
For a schedule of groups and all our activities aimed at improving women’s well-being and optimal development, consult our free activity program.
Support for abused caregivers
If you’re a caregiver and you think you’re experiencing violence in your relationship, the online questionnaire Is your caregiving relationship healthy? can help you get a clearer picture. Please note that we offer specific support services for women caregivers.
If you need immediate assistance
Other resources are available on our Resources page.