You have doubts about your relationship or that of a loved one

I wonder

It can be difficult to question one’s relationship or that of a loved one. Below you can find information on domestic violence.


What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a process in a relationship in which one partner develops increasingly violent behaviour as a way of exerting power and control over the other person.

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What if it’s more serious than bickering?

It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a domestic violence dynamic in a couple and bickering. However, there are key features that differentiate them.

Difference between couple quarrel and domestic violence

  • A couple bickering: Arguments may be fuelled by anger, aggressive words or gestures.

    In abusive relationships: Assaults are purposeful, intentional, and strategically designed to assert power over the other person.

    Type of aggressive behaviour
  • A couple bickering: both try to win, but not at any cost. Each wants to convince the other of his or her rightful claim. What is at stake is the subject of the dispute.

    In abusive relationships: The aggressors want to win at all costs at the expense of their victim, to the point of hurting and destroying her or him to assert control or wield power. Victims want the violent behaviour to end. They have nothing to gain. What is at stake is not the subject of the dispute but rather the desire to control the other person.

  • A couple bickering: Being on an equal footing and not afraid of each other, both feel free to respond. Responses remain focused on the objective of winning the argument.

    In abusive relationships: Victims don’t feel free to respond, fearing the consequences of asserting themselves. They adjust their responses in efforts to calm down the situation and prevent much worse from happening.

  • A couple bickering: The dispute is used to explain aggressive behaviour. Partners can more easily let go and even apologize if they see that they’ve crossed the line.

    In abusive relationships: Aggressors do not want to be caught out, do not explain themselves, and justify their actions. They use various strategies such as denial, trivializing their actions, invoking extenuating circumstances (alcohol, stress, unhappy childhood, and so on).

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Are there abusive behaviours in my relationship?

Use this interactive questionnaire to determine whether your relationship includes various forms of domestic violence.

Evaluate my situation


Breaking isolation and fostering mutual support, solidarity, and networking

Breaking isolation and fostering mutual support, solidarity, and networking

Description = For women who are or have been victims of domestic violence, we provide the opportunity to get together to share experiences and discuss various topics related to violence, self-awareness, and empowerment.

These meetings are designed to break isolation and foster mutual support, solidarity, and networking.

This service is free and confidential, offered only in French at the moment, and led by MSMC counsellors, in person or by videoconference.

To find out more or for individual external follow-up, please contact us at 450 658-9780.

How it works

  • If you’re videoconferencing, please choose a location where you won’t be disturbed by others, by noise or by anything else for the duration of the meeting.

    • The cycle of domestic violence
    • Post-separation violence
    • Manipulation
    • Healthy relationships
    • Conscious non-violent communication
    • Assertiveness
    • Letting go
    • Conflict management
    • and many other topics.

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