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Story #1 on domestic violence

Girls' Dinner


Robert and Linda have been married for 13 years. They have 3 beautiful children aged 6, 8 and 11. Robert works as an accountant in an agency and they decided by mutual agreement that Linda would stay home to take care of the children. Linda does not have a driver's license. She has always lived near a subway station in Montreal. Robert leaves in the morning around 6:30 a.m. and always returns around 5:30 p.m. Linda has always been happy to take care of her children, but she is starting to miss seeing her friends. She called her friends and they planned a reunion dinner.


Happy to see her friends again, she said to Robert:


- Next Thursday, Joëlle and Myriam invite me to dinner, it's been so long since we've seen each other!


- Where? Not at the restaurant yet? It's not like you have a job to afford this!


- No no, at Joëlle's who lives in Terrebonne.


- In Terrebonne! And I guess you'll want me to give you a lift again?


- Yes, my love, I don't have a license and it would take too long by public transport...


- Well, don't go there! Anyway why would you need to go see those girls when you have us here at home? It's not like they're important to our lives! I think you're pretty selfish for thinking about having fun in the middle of the week with your friends instead of taking care of your family! We are and always will be your only family, even if you don't seem to care about us!


In this situation, what type(s) of violence did Robert use against his wife Linda?

  1. Verbal abuse

  2. Emotional abuse

  3. Social abuse (or isolation)

Answer: 2 and 3


Social violence mainly concerns the victim's entourage. It is a form of psychological violence. Like other forms of domestic violence, it can be difficult to detect because it develops gradually. Slowly, the victim finds herself alone and isolated. Here are some possible examples:

  • The abuser begins to put down people who are important to the victim.

  • He or she constantly criticizes his or her job, workplace or co-workers

  • He or she denigrates the hobbies, activities, sports that his or her partner does

  • He or she does not allow the victim to visit, talk to or see friends, or tries to limit the victim's contact with them

  • He or she does not allow contact with family, controls or limits contact

  • He or she tends to control his e-mail and phone calls


Emotional abuse occurs in a variety of ways including:

  • constantly criticizing the victim

  • belittling the victim;

  • distorting reality to change their perception

  • making them doubt themselves

  • manipulating her emotions

  • isolating them socially


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