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What is Domestic Violence?

Reviewed by
Jan 25, 2023

Domestic Violence is any form of violent or abusive behaviour that happens during a relationship (including married, common law, or dating) or after a relationship ends. It is not just limited to physical or sexual violence and may also include intimidation, hurting or threatening to hurt pets, mental or emotional abuse, financial exploitation, threats, stalking and harassment.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Police decide whether or not to make an arrest when they are called to investigate a situation involving domestic violence. They have the authority to detain and hold individuals. 

If you or your family is in danger, you can apply for a protection order. A protection order is a court order made by a judge to help protect one person from another. You can apply for a protection order through criminal court (Peace Bond – which can be made against anyone, even if you have only dated) or through family court (Family Law Protection Order - which can be made against family members) or both. For more information, see “How do I get a protection order?” on this website.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can learn more about your options from the BC Government publication Help Starts Here or through VictimLinkBC.