FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I am being abused?
Are Immigrant women abused more frequently than Non-immigrant women?
What can I expect when I call WMRCC of Durham?
What kind of men abuse women?
Will I be able to speak with someone who speaks my language?
Is there a fee for WMRCC services?
What are your hours of operation?
Is your service only for minority women, immigrant and refugee women?
Why is there a need for this service?
Can men use your services?
How can I help an abused woman?

How do I know if I am being abused?

Many women feel that if they are not being hurt physically then they are not being abused. This is common yet incorrect assumption. Abuse can occur in many forms but the most common are physical, verbal, emotional and sexual. Another common assumption is that only one’s husband or partner is capable of abuse. Again this is not true, abuse can (and often does) come from a brother, sister, cousin, uncle, a boss, a friend, care-giver, mother-in-law or father in-law, a child, a landlord, a person in position of authority and a complete stranger. Ask yourself the following: Is there someone in you life that:

  • Slaps, punches, or kicks you
  • Makes fun of the way you look or what you wear
  • Threatens to have you deported
  • Harms or threatens to harm your children
  • Harms or threatens to harm your pets
  • Forces you to give up your paycheck
  • Withholds or hides things you need like medicine or important documents
  • Locks up food in the house
  • Damages your personal property
  • Forbids you to talk to your family or friends
  • Follows you and /or tries to monitor your every move
  • Threatens to kill you
  • Forces you to have sex or do things against your wish
  • Calls you demeaning names

If you answered yes to one or more of these question you are experiencing abuse.

Are Immigrant women abused more frequently than Non-immigrant women?

Abuse knows no economic, cultural, social or geographic boundaries. Immigrant and non-immigrant women tell of similar violent experiences of pain, fear, and isolation suffered at the hands of their abusers. However, immigrant women have even fewer resources they can turn to for assistance. In most cases they are in the country with their abusers and have no family support network.

What can I expect when I call WMRCC of Durham?

You can expect to speak with a counsellor or social worker whose first concern will be the safety of you and your children. The counsellor or social worker will be understanding and non-judgmental. She will work with you to help you deal with the violence and abuse you experienced, discuss your circumstances and provide options, find resources, and to help you to plan and achieve your goals to re-build and establish yourself in the community.

What kind of men abuse women?

Abusive men come from all walks of life – doctors, cab drivers, lawyers, restaurant workers, businessmen, bankers, engineers, computer programmers, shopkeepers, diplomats, and entertainers. They can be young or old, rich or low-income, and of all religious faiths and educational levels. They can be fathers, brothers, uncles, friends, neighbours and co-workers. What they share in common, however, is a belief that they can exert “power and control” over their intimate partners, and that this behavior is justifiable.
Through our work we have learned that abusers can change. The abuse that they perpetrate against their partners is learned behaviour and therefore can be unlearned. Abusers however can change only if they first accept responsibility for their behavior and hold themselves accountable by choosing and learning new ways of communicating with their partner and dealing with their angers through professional help.

Will I be able to speak with someone who speaks my language?

Given the size of our organization, it will not always be possible to speak with a counsellor or social worker who speaks your language. However, we will take the necessary steps to ensure that someone who speaks your language is made available. This person can help you articulate your needs.

Is there a fee for WMRCC services?

All services at WMRCC are free and confidential!

What are your hours of operation?

WMRCC is staffed from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday excluding holidays. We can also see you on the weekends and evenings but you must call to arrange for this. If there is no one in the office you can leave a message and we will call you back. If you are in immediate danger please call 911 or the Assaulted Women’s Help Line at (416) 863-0511.

Suppose I am illegal in Canada will you report me to the police or to the immigration? No., Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Toronto or Durham Regional Police Services are separate organizations. Everyone, regardless of her or his immigration status, is entitled to seek legal protection against family violence or violence against women. If the police inquires about your immigration status, try to answer that you are “Working on your Immigration Issues.”

Is your service only for minority women, immigrant and refugee women?

While the majority of our service users are minority, immigrant and refugee women, we do not discriminate against any one seeking service on the basis of race, culture, nationality, religious background, sexual orientation, class, age or ability.

Why is there a need for this service?

Women from diverse backgrounds, immigrant and refugee women encounter multiple barriers in our society. WMRCC of Durham uses holistic approach in delivering services to women. WMRCC specializes in women’s programs, youth and children. The organization provides culturally sensitive counselling, support, crisis intervention and re-integration of women in the community. WMRCC works with both service users and service providers in attempt to address these issues and supports the capacity of organizations and individuals working to end violence in the lives of all women.

Can men use your services?

Due to safety reasons, men are asked to make prior arrangements before visiting the centre. We do however use a holistic approach in working with survivors of violence which means we take into consideration all members of a woman’s family when intervening on behalf of a woman who is experiencing abuse and other challenges. Also, there are other ways men can get involved in the work of the agency. Please contact us for details.

How can I help an abused woman?

  • denounce oppression
  • reach out to women in your community
  • be an advocate especially if you become aware a family member, a neighbour or a friend is in abusive situation, connect her with community resources
  • volunteer or join local women’s organization working to end violence against women and young women
  • stand up for social justice

Any other questions? Please contact us.

P.O. Box 66164, 1355 Kingston Road, Pickering, Ontario, L1V 6P7. Canada, 1-877-454-4035, 905-427-7849