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Articles for women

Thinking about leaving…

Thinking about leaving It is incredibly difficult to decide to leave your partner. There are emotional considerations – you may still love him or feel a great deal of guilt about leaving. There are also practical matters – children, housing, finances. You might decide to leave after an explosion but then feel drawn back into […]

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Is the problem my low self-esteem or lack of assertiveness?

Is the problem my low self-esteem or lack of assertiveness? Some women who are abused by their partners wonder if the problem is low self-esteem. A woman may wonder if this is why she has “put up with abuse” for so long; because she did not think she deserved better. No one, independently, develops a […]

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Is the problem my “poor boundaries”?

Is the problem my “poor boundaries”? Women, who have experienced abuse, are often told by service providers that they do not have good boundaries. If a woman’s partner is abusive, it is unsafe for that woman to have boundaries. Abusive men see boundaries as a threat to their power and control and do everything they […]

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Am I codependent?

Am I codependent? The term “codependent” has its origin in the AA movement. The idea is that someone who lives with an alcoholic or drug addict often ends up developing an unhealthy dependence on the substance user. We think there are a lot of problems with this term and want to look at it critically. […]

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Am I “addicted” to him?

Am I “addicted” to him? Sometimes women wonder if they are addicted to their partner. Claire described her feelings in this way. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I can’t seem to stop thinking about him. I know he has hurt me but I just keep thinking about how good things were in […]

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Good counselling and bad counselling

Good counselling and bad counselling Many women who have experienced abuse have sought help through a variety of counselors. Sometimes counseling is helpful and sometimes it is not. At its worst, counseling or advice giving can be dangerous if it disconnects you with your voice, your wisdom and your experience. For example, one woman was […]

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Why do I still love him?

Why do I still love him? Women often struggle with their feelings of love for their partner. Perhaps others have suggested that you are “crazy” for still loving him. We do not think you are crazy. We think you are having normal feelings that make a lot of sense, given your situation. When you first […]

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Is my partner’s problem abuse or addiction?

Is my partner’s problem abuse or addiction? Sometimes women wonder if their partner’s problem is abuse or addiction. If you know your partner has an addiction, maybe you hope that if he gets clean and sober he will stop being so hurtful towards you. Unfortunately, women’s experiences have taught us that this is not likely […]

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Why Does “Anger Management” Not Work?

Why Does “Anger Management” Not Work? Sometimes men who are abusive take “Anger Management” courses. Women have reported to us that these programs do not seem to improve the dynamics in the relationship. This is because anger is not the problem with men who are abusive; their desire for power and control is the problem. […]

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Helpful support for a woman who has experienced abuse

Helpful support for a woman who has experienced abuse Make her safety (emotional and physical) the priority. Don’t do anything without her explicit permission. Without meaning to, you could make the situation worse or put her at risk for harm. Ask her what you can do that would be helpful to her. Being a listening […]

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Am I abusive too?

Am I abusive too? Sometimes women wonder and worry if they are abusive, like their partner. Abusive men, the police or other “helping professionals” sometimes tell women they are abusive. The idea that it “takes two to tango” is a predominant one in our culture. Maybe you have fought back, yelled at or hit your […]

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Many types of abuse

Many types of abuse There are many different types of abuse. Here is a list of abuse women from our support groups have identified. If you think you are experiencing abuse from your partner, it may be helpful to read through the list and see what applies to you. If someone you know is experiencing […]

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When Love Hurts