Safely On Your Way: Post-separation Abuse


Post-separation abuse is a serious issue in Canada.


According to a 2005 Juristat report, in 2005, 49% of women who had a previously violent relationship said that the violence either happened during or continued after separation. For more than one-third of these women, the violence increased in severity or frequency after separation. A report prepared in 2009 by Stats Can found that on average every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. In 2009, 67 women were murdered by a current or former spouse or boyfriend.


Children are often the unintended observers of violence between spouses, and in 50% of cases of post-separation violence a child is witness at least once.


The Safely On Your Way Project Online Tool, funded by  the Department of Justice Canada, is intended to provide much-needed information that will increase understanding of post-separation abuse by frontline service providers.


The purpose of this site will help you to better understand:

• the dynamics of post-separation spousal abuse

• the impact this has on mothers and their children

• the specific issues linked to custody and access

• special issues some women may have as a result of cultural and linguistic barriers to

   reporting or expressing their needs.


It is our hope that this new tool will help you provide better service to women who have been abused and their children.


Women and their children benefit by having service providers with a clearer understanding of post-separation abuse, who can better shape services to their needs and can offer enhanced assistance grounded in understanding that the woman’s first priority is to keep herself and her children safe.


The terms victim and abused woman are used interchangeably on this web site.


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  “How can a system that supports reasonable access and reasonable notice’ expect an abused woman will be able to ‘reasonably’ deal with a person who is anything except ‘reasonable’.”




The victims of domestic violence are usually women, but domestic violence against men does occur. For more information about this read Gender Differences in Police-reported Violent Crime in Canada, 2008

Safely On Your Way -  published by the  Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia

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The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (or LISNS) is a charitable, not-for-profit organization. We have been providing Nova Scotians with easy to understand information and resources about the law for 30 years.


LISNS' staff and volunteers believe easy access to information about the law is fundamental to a fair justice system. Quite simply, it's why and what we do!