Relationship Violence

What is Relationship Violence?

Relationship Violence, also known as Domestic or Partner Violence,  is a pattern of many behaviors directed at achieving and maintaining power and control over an intimate partner, such as physical violence, emotional abuse, forced sexual activity, isolation, economic abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, and coercion and threats.

Any type of relationship can be abusive.  Pay attention to your early warning systems; if the relationship doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Anyone can become a victim of relationship violence, even if you are not married or living with your partner. People of all genders and across all demographic groups can be involved in abusive relationships.


  • Physical assault is a crime. If you are a target of physical abuse you must first get to a safe place and then call 911.
  • If you have children with you and cannot physically get out of the immediate area, call 911.
  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?
  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for their own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
  • force you to engage in sexual activity without your consent?
  • threaten you, threaten to leave or to commit suicide if you don’t obey them?
  • make you worry about how they will react to the things you say or do?

How can we help?

If you or someone you know is a victim of relationship violence, the Personal Security Office can help. The Personal Security Office offers a variety of options to help you access and address your personal safety in relationships, and works with members of the SFU community to access resources and supports. They can work with you to develop a personalized safety plan, and can also provide information about your reporting options.

For more information about safety planning and leaving an abusive relationship:

Contact Julie Glazier, Director of Community Safety and Personal Security Advisor

For more information about sexual violence and what to do in the event of a sexual assault: Sexual Violence Support