About Family Violence

Violence or abuse within a family is sometimes called “family violence” or “domestic violence”. Under BC’s Family Law Act, family violence includes:

  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse, even when someone threatens or attempts it
  • When a child sees or experiences family violence

Family violence is not tolerated in Canada. Our laws say that everyone is equal, and they protect everyone – men and women – whether they are married or not, or in a same or opposite sex relationship. They also protect children. No one has to stay with someone who abuses and hurts them.

Protection under family law

Under the Family Law Act, a person facing family violence can get a protection order. Protection orders can help to protect the safety of family members by, for example, ordering an abuser to stay away from someone, as well as their home, their workplace, and their school. They can also contain directions for a police officer to remove the family member from the family residence or to go with the person at risk to pick up personal belongings at home.

For more about protection orders and other protections under criminal law, see the Family Violence section of this website. 

To view videos about domestic violence in different languages, see Violence Against Women Videos on the People’s Law School website.

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