Quiz (Answer Sheet)
For ages 13 and up
1. Jessica and Daniel are sister and brother. Daniel is always calling Jessica names and making fun of her. Every morning, he says “hello ugly” to her and makes vulgar comments about her. He thinks it’s a big joke to snap her bra strap and pull on her underpants to give her a wedgie. On the way to school, he tries to trip her and pretends to push her into the traffic. When friends come over, he points to her and says “that’s my skunky sister”. He never misses a chance to put her down.
Yes - this is family violence. Daniel's behaviour includes emotional and physical abuse – both are types of family violence. Although there are no visible bruises or marks, Daniel is constantly putting his sister down and finding ways to intimidate her and be mean to her. Brothers and sisters sometimes tease each other but what Daniel is doing is more than just teasing and it's not acceptable for a brother to treat his sister this way. Daniel is responsible for his behaviour and he should stop emotionally and physically abusing his sister. Jessica should talk to her parents or another adult she trusts.
2. Michael was supposed to be home at 10:00 p.m. but arrives at 10:30 p.m. after missing the bus. When he walks into the house, his mother is waiting for him. While Michael believes he has a good explanation for being late, his mother is extremely upset and starts yelling at him, refusing to listen to his explanation. She tells him that he is grounded for two weeks.
No - this isn't family violence, but yelling isn't a good way to solve problems. It's an expression of anger, but it's not a crime. Michael's mother could have listened to his explanation and then decided what to do. If the yelling happens repeatedly, it could be emotional abuse and a form of family violence for which child protection workers could become involved.
3. When Ella was a young girl, her father would dress her in the morning and touch her in places where Ella thought was wrong. Now that she is a teenager, he still wants to help her get dressed and touches her breasts when he puts on her bra. When she asks him to stop, he says he is her father and it’s just their secret little game. Ella has told her mother but her mother doesn’t seem to believe her.
Yes - this is family violence. It's sexual abuse and it's a crime. Since Ella's mother is not helping her, she should tell another adult what's happening. This is a serious matter involving the breach of a position of trust. Police and possibly child protection officials may become involved and Ella's father may need to seek professional help for his behaviour.
4. Robert is watching TV when he hears his mother and father getting into another argument. He doesn’t know how the argument started but hears his father yelling at his mother. This time the yelling gets worse and he sees his father punch his mother in the face. His mother runs into the bathroom and locks herself in to protect herself while his father threatens to kick her out of the house.
Yes - this is family violence. It's spousal abuse. No one has the right to hit or threaten anyone, including their spouse. Robert's father used violence – he committed the crime of assault. Police in Canada take spousal assault very seriously. In some places programs are available to help the abuser realize the impact of their behaviour and learn how to build a healthy respectful relationship. Sometimes a judge will order someone who has been abusive to their spouse to participate in one of these programs.
Spousal abuse isn't always physical, it can include emotional abuse (like constant put downs or not allowing the other spouse to see friends and family), sexual abuse (making the other spouse do something sexual against their will), or financial (keeping control of the family income and not letting the other spouse have access to any money for things they need). All couples have arguments but when one spouse starts to bully, threaten or hurt the other it becomes abuse. Abuse can also happen without anger or violence (e.g. emotional abuse and financial abuse). Children can be emotionally harmed by seeing or hearing spousal abuse.
5. Jane’s elderly grandmother lives in the house with her, her brother, her father and her step-mother. Jane’s step-mother is always putting down the grandmother – calling her names, ignoring her and sometimes even taking money from her wallet without her grandmother knowing. The step-mother threatens Jane’s grandmother that she will kick her out of the house if she gives her a tough time. Jane has told her father but he says he has not seen any problems and his mother has not complained to him.
Yes - this is family violence. It is older adult abuse. Although there are no visible bruises or marks on Jane's grandmother, Jane's step-mother is abusing her grandmother by calling her names, ignoring and threatening her and stealing from her. Stealing is a crime, even if you steal from a family member. Jane's step-mother must stop what she's doing. If Jane's father won't listen to her, Jane can tell someone else who can try to put a stop to the abuse.
6. Whenever Jimmy misbehaved as a young boy, his father would spank him with his hand. Now, instead of spanking him with his hand, Jimmy’s father takes a belt or ruler to hit him. It hurts. Jimmy feels powerless and miserable. He has asked his father to stop but his father tells him that this is the only way he learns to behave.
Yes - this is family violence. It's not OK for Jimmy's father to hurt him. Jimmy's father may be trying to teach his son how to behave but his use of force is not reasonable. Physical assault is a crime. Although some parents may use some light physical punishment for the purpose of discipline, such punishment cannot be used on teenagers or children under two years old.
Regardless of the child's age, physical punishment is not allowed to cause harm to the child. Parents can't use objects to hit their children with (like a strap or paddle), or slap or hit children in the head. They aren't allowed to do anything that a court might find degrading, inhuman or harmful (example locking them in their room without letting them use a toilet when they need to). For more information on the legal limits of the use of physical discipline by parents see the Supreme Court of Canada's 2004 decision at the following site: http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/LOP/ResearchPublications/prb0510-e.htm
If a child is punished in a way that harms a child physically or emotionally, child protection workers may become involved.
7. On some days, Alexa has been coming home from school over the past few weeks to find her baby brother Marcus home alone in his crib with a bottle of milk. Many times Marcus’ diapers are soiled and the milk has gone sour. When Alexa’s mother does come home she explains that she had some errands to do and couldn’t take the baby with her but made sure that the doors were locked and that Marcus had a bottle in the crib in case he got hungry.
Yes - this is family violence. It's not OK for Marcus to be left alone. The mother's neglect of Marcus is a form of family violence. This kind of neglect is taken very seriously by child protection workers. Even if Marcus has a bottle to feed him, there is no one there to respond to his emotional needs, physical needs (if he gets sick or chokes) or possible dangerous situations like a fire. Leaving a child under 10 years of age alone in a situation that could cause death or permanent health problems is a crime. Also, neglecting a child under the age of 16 in ways that could cause death or permanent health problems is also a crime.
8. Sabrina’s parents are divorced and she lives primarily with her mother but visits her father every second weekend. She loves both her parents but she has always been afraid of her dad. He used to yell at Sabrina and beat up her mom when he got drunk. Since her parents’ separation he has become more aggressive and threw Sabrina down the stairs on her last visit with him. She doesn’t want to be alone with him or be with him while he’s drinking.
Yes - this is family violence. Sabrina witnessed spousal abuse and has herself been a victim of physical and emotional abuse. Because what Sabrina's dad did in throwing her down the stairs is a criminal act, she or her mother may want to contact the police. If the police decide to lay criminal charges, the court would likely order that Sabrina not have contact with her dad until the family court had considered what would be best for Sabrina given what had happened.
Even if her dad is not charged, it's important that Sabrina let her mother and others know that she was harmed and is afraid to visit her dad alone. If Sabrina still visits her father, someone should stay with her during the visit.
Separation and divorce can be very difficult for the whole family. You may feel very confused about whether you want to see a parent who was violent towards you or your other parent. You can still love an abusive parent, even though you don't like their violent or abusive behavior. Your parent is responsible for his or her behavior, not you. It's important for you to talk about your feelings and concerns. Abuse is not OK and you have the right to be safe.
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