University of Toronto

Community Safety Office

416.978.1485 CSO Main Line

Definition of Domestic Violence:

A pattern of coercive behavior that is used by one person to gain power and control over another, which may include physical violence, sexual, emotional and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking, and economic control.
(Family Violence Prevention Fund. "Model Policy on Domestic Violence in the Workplace.")

Domestic Violence has been called an 'invisible crime'. Fear, shame and concerns related to negative family outcomes such as legal or financial consequences, lead people who experience domestic violence to remain silent. Domestic violence does not discriminate. Domestic violence impacts people from every socio-economic background, every race and culture, people of diverse sexual orientation, age, gender. It affects families, friends, extended families, neighbors, co-workers and ultimately the entire community.  Domestic violence could impact you.

Have You Felt Harmed In Your Relationship?

Questions to ask yourself:
  • Do you feel as though nothing you do is good enough?
  • Are you afraid or ashamed to tell others about your situation?
  • Do you often feel like you are “walking on eggshells” around your partner?
  • Are you isolated from friends and / or family?
  • Does you partner mock you and/or embarrass you?
  • If applicable - Do you think you or your children may be in danger in your home?
  • Do you feel that you have to consistently apologize to your partner but you are not sure why?
  • Do you feel that you are often making excuses for your partner’s behaviour?
  • Does your partner call you names, use degrading language or speak to you in ways that make you feel bad?
  • Does your partner control what you do, who you see and where you go?
  • Does your partner call, email or text excessively, especially if you try to break up with him/her?
  • Does your partner display overly jealous or possessive behaviour?
  • Are you frightened by your partner's driving?
  • Does your partner use rough physical play (i.e., wrestling) or joking as an excuse to harm you?
  • Does your partner damage your property, such as your cell phone or punch walls in anger?
  • Are you (ever) touched by your partner in a way that you do not want?
  • Do you (ever/sometimes) have sex with your partner when you do not want to?
  • Does your partner minimize your feelings?
  • Does your partner deny responsibility for his/her behaviour or blame you for their behaviour?
  • Does your partner push, pull hair, pinch, bite, restrain, hit or otherwise physically harm you?

Do you want to explore options to break the cycle of abuse?

The Community Safety Office is committed to supporting you.  Our confidential, non-judgmental service includes:  a client-centered focus, an opportunity to explore options, co-creating a safety plan (steps you can take to increase your safety while you deal with the harm you face in your relationship), and referral to ongoing supports (e.g. therapeutic, academic, financial, legal, housing etc).     

If you have made the decision to leave or have left a harmful relationship, but are dealing with the ongoing hurtful and / or frightening behaviour of your partner, the Community Safety Office is here to support you.

Are you unsure if you are in an abusive relationship?

For more information, click on the links below:

Your Safety Matters

© University of Toronto | Contacts | University Switchboard: (416) 978-2011