FIRST STEPS: Finding the right type of service

It’s important to try and find the service that closely matches what your situation is. If you aren’t sure what your situation is or need someone to talk with call 1-877-977-0007 for information.


Need Help information is for you or someone you know who may be experiencing violence or abuse. In this section, you will find information that:

  • Explains the types, dynamics, and impacts of violence against women
  • Explains many known risk factors
  • Tells you who to call in an emergency
  • Describes the kinds of services that are available to help you
  • Tells you about safety planning
  • Provides links to other resources and information

There is a lot of other information you will read as you take steps to increase your safety and to heal, such as what to expect if the police and courts get involved, what the psychological consequences are from experiencing abuse or how to apply for victim compensation. You will learn those things from the victim support service that you contact. It is their job to give you information about what you need to know as you start to get help and increase your safety.

You don’t have to live with violence or abuse

Violence and abuse is never acceptable. You are never to blame for violence or abuse that someone directs at you. Whether it is physical, sexual, emotional, or financial, it is not okay and it is not your fault.

There are services available to help. You can go to a community-based program that specializes in helping women who have experienced violence and, if you are interested, they can assist you in talking to the police or local law enforcement. Remember, you are not alone. There are people available in communities throughout Manitoba who understand what you are going through and who are there to help.

What is violence against women?

Violence against women is a term used to refer to violent acts that are primarily committed against women. Similar to hate crimes, this type of violence targets specific groups, in this case, women.

The United Nations defines violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

There are many forms of violence against women, including sexual assault, physical assault, or emotional abuse by an intimate partner; physical or sexual abuse by family members or others; sexual harassment and abuse by authority figures (such as teachers, police officers, employers). Systematic sexual violence in conflict situations is another form of violence against women.

Gender-based crime

Violence against women in relationships, sexual assault and other forms of violence against women are gender-based crimes. This means that:

  • These crimes most often happen to women and girls
  • Men are most often the ones who commit these crimes
  • These crimes are usually based on dynamics of power and control – men, who have most of the power, use these forms of abuse to control women, who have less power. This is true even when the male doesn’t know the woman, like in a sexual assault by a stranger.

Please note: We use the term she/her when referring to the person being abused and he/him when referring to the abuser. This is because by far the vast majority of sexual and intimate partner violence is perpetrated by men against women. We do wish to acknowledge that men can and have been victimized by women and that violence and abuse in the context of same sex relationships is also a reality.

We know that women are sometimes arrested in domestic violence/spouse assault situations when they shouldn’t be. Police are required to conduct a “Primary Aggressor Assessment” to determine the history of the violence in a relationship, but this doesn’t always happen. If this has happened to you, you can get help from a community-based victim support program.

What if the services you are receiving are not meeting your needs?

Sometimes you may feel that the services you are receiving are not giving you what you need. Perhaps they are not the kinds of services you need right now. Sometimes a particular service provider is not a good fit for you and you may find it hard to work with that person.

If this happens, it’s okay to tell service providers what you are feeling and discuss with them what your options are. You can tell a service provider what you are looking for and ask if they can provide that. If they can’t, or if you are feeling that you’re not getting what you need, it’s okay to ask for a referral to another service provider or another service or just change services and try something else.

Find a Service by Category

To find an organization or agency by the types of services they offer, please click here.

Find a Service by Region

To find services in your area, please click here.

Protection Order Designate – POD

To see the listing of PODs in Manitoba please click here.

Safety Planning Guides

Advance planning before attempting to leave the situation can help prevent further violence. To learn more please use the information available here.