Family and intimate partner violence
It happens mostly to women, and it threatens their basic right to live free of violence.
Help is available
- Embrave: Agency to End Violence Crisis Line 1-855-676-8515
- Victim Services of Peel 905-568-1068
- Call or text 211
If it's an emergency call 911 immediately.
Intimate partner violence is any pattern of behavior that’s used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It includes all physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.
Intimate partner violence is an epidemic in Peel. It’s a widespread and growing public health concern and instances of violence are also more severe. Violence and abuse can lead to poor physical and mental health, serious injuries and even homicide.
In 2022, police in Peel responded to nearly 16,000 incidents of family and intimate partner violence. That's nearly 43 disputes every day or about 2 every hour. That's just what gets reported as most incidents are not reported.
Break the silence
Let's continue the conversation about family and intimate partner violence and work together to stop violence and abuse in all forms.
Violence and abuse can take many forms, such as:
- Physical (hitting, pushing, strangulation, confining, or grabbing).
- Psychological or emotional (put-downs, name-calling, threats, blackmail or manipulation).
- Sexual (forcing or coercing someone to engage in sexual acts or sharing intimate photos without consent).
- Economic (limiting or withholding income and someone’s ability to make financial decisions, keeping someone from taking on paid work).
- Spiritual (belittling or limiting someone's ability to take part in spiritual or religious activities).
- Stalking or harassment (following someone, showing up uninvited, constant emails, phone calls or online harassment).
There are many incorrect and false ideas about intimate partner violence. As a community, we can help by learning more. Learn more about how to get help.
Emotional and financial abuse doesn't count as abuse.
FALSE. Abuse can take many forms, like emotional, physical, verbal, sexual and financial. Name-calling, unwanted physical and sexual contact, and controlling money are some examples of abuse.
I caused the abuse.
FALSE. If you are experiencing abuse, it is never your fault, and it is always unacceptable and wrong whether it happens once or often.
If I get help, things will get worse.
FALSE. While it can be scary to get help, it is important to take the first step and talk to someone who can help. Getting support and speaking with an experienced crisis worker will help you deal with an abusive situation.
It's easy to get away from abuse.
FALSE. It can take a survivor several tries before leaving an abusive situation permanently. Survivors of abuse can feel alone and trapped; this may prevent them from getting help.
Abuse is a private family matter.
FALSE. Abuse can impact the survivors' loved ones, like children, family members, and friends who may witness the abuse. It is a shared responsibility to learn the signs of abuse and how you can help. Learn about the signs of abuse.
Abuse only happens in certain cultures.
FALSE. Anyone can experience abuse regardless of their age, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation, gender, social status, or job. Violence and abuse are never acceptable or excusable.
If you are experiencing violence or abuse, access these free supports at any time:
Embrave 24/7 Crisis Line
905-403-0864 or 1-855-676-8515
The 24/7 Crisis Support Line provides immediate support to survivors in the community experiencing any form of violence. Clients define and identify their needs and what types of supports they want to access such as immediate crisis support and intervention, risk assessment and safety planning, emotional support, referrals to other services, information-sharing, problem-solving and intake into the Shelter Program.
Victim Services of Peel
The 24/7 Crisis Line provides immediate support to survivors in the community through services such as crisis intervention, financial assistance and services, access to safe housing, court bail resources, and referral to other long-term support services.
211 or 1-877-330-3213
The 24/7 service is offered in more than 150 languages, by phone, chat, text, and web. 211 helps connect people to the right information and services, making their pathway to care and resources a guided and trusted one.
Assaulted Women's Helpline
The 24/7 Helpline offers anonymous and confidential support to all women in the province of Ontario who have experienced any form of abuse.
Creating a safety plan
Whether you are currently experiencing violence, thinking about leaving a violent situation or relationship, or have already left a violent situation, this guide will provide you with some strategies you can implement for yourself.
If you are fleeing violence or abuse, or are planning to, supports are available including emergency and transitional shelters, street outreach, support services and help to find permanent housing.
You may apply for Legal Aid to pay for your lawyer to represent you free of charge or at a reduced rate if you qualify.
If you do not have enough money for food and housing, you can apply for financial and employment assistance.
Peel programs for families and children
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, these free programs are available in Peel:
Catholic Family Services of Peel/Dufferin
The Helping End Abuse for Life (HEAL) program is a child witness program that offers psychoeducation, counselling services, case management supports, warm referrals to appropriate services (e.g., shelter, settlement agencies, child protection, mental health) and advocacy supports for women and children who are exposed to family and intimate partner violence. The HEAL program is a part of the HEAL Network which is 20-agency collaboration led by Catholic Family Services Peel Dufferin to support mothers and children who are experiencing intimate partner and family violence. Book a HEAL intake assessment.
Family Services of Peel
Children of all ages who have experiences or witnessed violence can access individual counselling in a supportive and child friendly environment with or without parental/guardian consent depending on their age.
Nisa Homes provides transitional housing for immigrant, refugee, non-status or Muslim women and children fleeing abuse or homelessness and remote casework support for any women needing support. Apply for housing or call 1-888-456-8043. For free mental health counselling, call Nisa Helpline at 1-888-711-6472, an anonymous helpline resource, available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Peel Children's Aid Society
Peel Children’s Aid Society protects children from abuse and neglect and helps parents and caregivers build healthy families. CAS also works with families who may be facing challenges such as poverty, unemployment, ill health, domestic violence, mental health issues. If you are concerned about a child or youth, call to start a confidential conversation with a trained Advice and Assessment Worker.
Peel Committee Against Woman Abuse Resources
A comprehensive list of resources available in Peel for survivors of violence and their families.
Safe Centre of Peel
The Safe Centre of Peel offers support and compassionate care to families affected by intimate partner violence in Peel. Over 17 agencies work together at one location to provide services such as individualized safety planning, counselling, settlement and immigration services, access to police reporting (if required), transitional housing supports, family court support and more. For more information about how the Safe Centre of Peel can support you, call 905-450-4650.
Support for seniors
A list of community resources to get help for older adults and seniors experiencing abuse or violence.
Peel Elder Abuse Support Program
Provides direct support to seniors who have been exploited, abused, and/or are experiencing challenges and struggles associated with abuse, neglect and aging. Call 905-453-5775
Seniors Safety Line
24/7 crisis and support line for seniors in Ontario who have experienced any type of abuse or neglect. Callers receive emotional support, safety planning, information and referrals in over 200 languages. Call 1-866-299-1011 or 1-866-299-0008
Understanding elder abuse
Learn about the types of elder abuse.
Brampton and Mississauga
- Peel Police laid 531 intimate partner violence strangulation charges in 2022.
- Peel Police reported that the highest number of 2022 calls for service are family and intimate partner violence related.
- Of the charges that were laid in 2022 for intimate partner violence related incidents, 79% of the victims were women.
- There were 8 family and intimate partner homicides in Peel Region in 2022.
- Between 2016 and 2021, there was a 3.5% increase in the rate of intimate partner disputes reported to Peel Police.
- In 2022, 77% of the victims of intimate partner violence disputes and family disputes were women.
- There were 10 intimate partner sexual assaults reported in Caledon in 2022.
- Between 2019 and 2022, there was a 5.9% increase in the rate of intimate partner disputes and family disputes reported to Caledon OPP.
On February 13, 2020, Regional Council unanimously passed a motion for Peel Region to work with Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, as well as Peel Regional Police, Ontario Provincial Police – Caledon Division, and community organizations to create an awareness campaign about intimate partner violence in Peel Region.
2023 marks the fourth year of the Family and Intimate Partner Violence campaign and the November 25 launch date coincides with the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
We want family and intimate partner violence survivors to know there is support. Help us spread the word and break the silence.
On October 22, 2020 Regional Council adopted Peel's Community Safety and Well-being Plan.
The 3 focus areas of the plan include family violence, mental health and addictions issues and systemic discrimination. The Family and Intimate Partner Violence campaign is a strategy of the family violence focus area.Learn more about the Community Safety and Well-being Plan.
We’re thankful for our partners who have worked closely with us to plan and support this important campaign.
- Afghan Women's Organization
- Armagh House
- Catholic Family Services Peel-Dufferin
- City of Brampton
- City of Mississauga
- Cupid's Sting
- Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre
- Embrave: Agency to End Violence
- Family Services of Peel
- Family Transition Place
- Find help: 211 Central
- Indus Community Services
- Nisa Homes
- Ontario Provincial Police - Caledon Detachment
- Peel Children's Aid Society
- Peel Committee Against Women Abuse (PCAWA)
- Peel District School Board
- Peel Family Education Centre
- Peel Regional Police
- Punjabi Community Health Services
- Region of Peel
- Roots Community Services
- Safe Centre of Peel
- Sheridan College
- Town of Caledon
- Trillium Health Partners -Family and Child Health Initiative
- Victim Services of Peel