For ages 13 and up

What is family violence?

Girl 13

Family violence is when someone in your family hurts you or others in your family. It can include physical, sexual or emotional abuse. It can also include neglect: not making sure you are safe and healthy. Victims may experience more than one type of abuse.

If you want to know more about what to do when someone in your family is hurting you or others in your family, this website can help you. This website may also be helpful if you are worrying about a friend being hurt at home. It’s designed for youth. It talks about the different ways people can be hurt by family members and what kind of help is available. This is too big a problem for you to solve alone.

When is family violence against the law?

Boy 15

Family violence usually means someone in a family is abusing someone else in the family. Some kinds of abuse, like physical abuse, are crimes. Sexual abuse is also a crime. So are some kinds of emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse and neglect.

Crimes are against the law, even if they take place in a family. If this is happening to you or someone you know, you’ll need help right away.

If someone commits a crime, they can face serious consequences.

Sometimes a person will have to wait in jail before they go to court and sometimes a judge will order a jail sentence. What happens depends on many things, like whether this is the first time the abuse has happened and how badly the person hurt someone.

Each province and territory has laws to try to help children who are hurt by family violence. These laws are called child protection laws.

When is family violence not a crime?

Examples of family violence and abuse that may not be crimes, but are still wrong:

Even if a person’s actions are not against the law, it’s still wrong if you are being hurt. You can find help. No one has the right to do hurtful things to family members. There are people who can help you and help make your situation better.