Is Someone Hurting You?

If you are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, think about the people in your life. Healthy loving relationships are good for you and your growing family. If someone is hurting you, get the help you need, for you and your baby.

What is a healthy relationship?

In a healthy relationship, your partner respects you for who you are. You treat each other with love and care. Ask yourself:

  • Does your partner appreciate you for who you are?
  • Does your partner listen to you and respect the things you like and don’t like?
  • Do you do activities on your own that interest you, as well as activities with your partner?
  • Does your partner trust you?
  • Do you trust your partner?
  • Can you talk about things that are important to you?
  • Are you able to be honest with your partner?
  • Do you think your partner is being honest with you?
  • Is your relationship equal?
  • Is your partner supportive in bad times and in good times?
  • Can you depend on your partner?

If you said YES to all of these questions, you are likely in a healthy relationship. All relationships take work, and most go through some difficult times. But an abusive relationship is never a healthy relationship. An abusive relationship is not healthy for you and your baby. Pregnancy and the first year of a child’s life can be stressful – existing problems often get much worse without help or intervention to improve the situation.

What is abuse?

Does your partner:

  • Yell at you or call you names? 
  • Control the money?
  • Hide or break your things?
  • Threaten to take the kids away?
  • Hit or kick you? 
  • Keep you from seeing people?
  • Always need to be in charge?
  • Force or threaten you to have sex?

If you said YES to any of the above questions, this is not a healthy relationship. You are experiencing abuse. Abuse comes in many forms. It can be physical, emotional, or financial. Abuse usually gets worse over time. Abuse often starts during pregnancy.It does not stop after the baby is born, statistics tells  us that often it gets worse. Abuse can make you feel bad, sad, anxious, and alone. You could be hurt or die.

If your relationship is not healthy:

  • Tell someone you trust what is happening. This could be a friend, family member, doctor, nurse, or minister.
  • Find people or community services to help you.
  • Ask for help so you (and your children) can leave safely.
  • Abuse may cause your baby to:
  • Be born too small or too early
  • Be hurt or die
  • Have health problems later on

When to Get Help during Pregnancy

Call your health care provider or go to the hospital if you notice any of these signs at any time during your pregnancy:

  • Bleeding from your birth canal (vagina).
  • Feeling dizzy or like you might faint.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • High fever (temperature).
  • Chills or rash after you have had a fever.
  • Sharp pain in your tummy.
  • Sharp pain in your tummy that is not going away.
  • Vomiting or throwing up a lot.
  • Feeling more sad, worried, or angry than usual.
  • Crying a lot.
  • Smelly fluid comes from your birth canal (vagina) and makes you feel itchy.
  • It hurts or burns when you pee (pass urine).
  • Your pee (urine) becomes red or dark in colour.
  • Spots on your face and body that are not normally there.
  • The baby stops moving or moves a lot less often.
  • Lots of swelling in your face, hands, legs, ankles (especially if it gets worse or changes).
  • Bad headaches that last for a long time.
  • Gaining weight quickly.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Pain in your chest or stomach area that is severe and not going away.

For information and support:

911 – Call the police

Assaulted Women’s Help Line
A 24-hour telephone crisis line for women.
1-866-863-0511
www.awhl.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Phone line to get help if you are being abused.
1-800-799-7233
www.thehotline.org

Law and Abuse
Family Court Support Worker Program provides direct support to victims of domestic violence who are involved in the family court process.
www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca

List of Women’s Shelters in Ontario
www.sheltersafe.ca/ontario/ 

National Aboriginal Circle Against Violence

List of Aboriginal Shelters

Resources on Becoming Financially Self-Sufficient
http://www.nacafv.ca

Indigenous Women’s Helpline: Text, Call or Chat
Talk4Healing : A culturally grounded fully confidential HELPLINE for Indigenous women in Ontario available in 14 languages 1-855-554-HEAL