Family violence

How to access supports and help when you've been a victim of family violence in Alberta.

 What's important to know

If you or someone else needs emergency help, call 911 immediately.

Find your local police service


Under the Protection Against Family Violence Act, family violence includes:

  • any act or omission that causes injury or property damage
  • any act or threatened act that intimidates
  • forced confinement
  • sexual abuse
  • stalking

Warning signs of abuse
Family violence has many victims

expand Support for victims
expand Signs of partner violence

When your partner:

  • constantly criticizes you and your abilities as a spouse, partner, parent or employee
  • behaves in an overprotective manner or becomes extremely jealous
  • calls you names or fights with you in front of family or friends
  • threatens to hurt you, your children, pets, family members or friends
  • prevents you from going places or seeing family or friends
  • suddenly gets angry or loses their temper
  • destroys your personal property
  • prevents you from accessing family assets like bank accounts, credit cards and cars
  • controls all your finances or withholds money from you
  • intimidates or manipulates you or your children to gain control
  • hits, punches, slaps, kicks, shoves or bites you
  • forces you to have sex
  • harasses you at work

When you:

  • feel like you have to ‘walk on eggshells’ to keep your partner from getting angry
  • feel like you can't live without your partner
  • stop seeing friends or family because your partner doesn't like them
  • give up activities you enjoy because your partner doesn’t like them
  • are afraid to tell your partner your worries and feelings about the relationship
  • are afraid to express your opinions to your partner
  • are often compliant because you’re afraid to hurt your partner’s feelings
  • believe that you’re the only one who can help or ‘reform’ your partner
  • apologize for your partner's behavior when you’re treated badly
  • stay with your partner because you believe that they’ll kill themselves if you leave
  • believe that your partner’s jealousy is a sign of love
  • believe the critical things your partner says about you
  • remember being abused as a child or seeing your mother or father be abused

expand How to help a victim

Police training

A multi-disciplinary team, coordinated by the Ministry’s Public Security Division, travels across the province to train police and criminal justice staff on topics that include the following:

  • investigation and prosecution of family violence cases
  • criminal harassment
  • Integrated Threat and Risk Assessment Centre (I-TRAC)
  • victim services
  • protection orders under the Protection Against Family Violence Act
  • effects of violence on children
  • elder abuse

The training is tailored to individual communities; this is consistent with the Alberta Roundtable for Family Violence and Bullying report, which concluded that community stakeholders must work together to address family violence.

Related publications

Victims of Family Violence Information and Rights Handbook

Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence in Alberta

Domestic Violence Handbook: for Police and Crown Prosecutors in Alberta

Domestic Violence Police Guidelines

Elder Abuse Police Guidelines

Making the Links in Family Violence Cases (report) - 1.18 MB Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Making the Links in Family Violence Cases (appendix) - 2.05 MB Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Responding to Child Abuse in Alberta

Strategies for Safety – Considerations for Individuals Experiencing Family Violence