Co-author hopes When Love Hurts helps victims act





Jill Cory, co-author of When Love Hurts, in Vancouver.

There’s a difference between conflict and abuse in relationships, but the difficulty of distinguishing between the two has kept many Vancouver women in unsafe relationships.

That lack of understanding spurred one Vancouver counsellor to co-write When Love Hurts, a resource book helping women recognize the signs of abuse.

Jill Cory, who manages the Provincial Woman Abuse Response Program at B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, said one in three women will face abuse in a relationship.

While abuse can take many forms, it’s typified by cyclical behaviour and a decreasing sense of freedom and equality.

Cory said the experience of one woman in the book, Allison, is prevalent among abused women.

"She had been so courted by (her partner) and he had so much charisma that she could not see beyond that to the abuse," Cory said, adding that Allison felt responsible for the abuse and for the success or failure of the relationship.

Cory said there’s conflict in every relationship, but in abusive relationships the intensity of the conflict constantly increases.

"There’s no part of the relationship where (abused) woman feel they can speak in equal terms with their partner," Cory said.

She added that if more women had the chance to interpret their experiences more accurately, they would be in a better position to take the steps to change their lives.