Healthy relationships are part of overall mental health. We can develop healthy relationships with anyone—family, friends, and dating and domestic partners. It takes time, energy, and care to develop healthy relationships.

In a healthy relationship, people relate in certain ways.

  • Trust each another
  • Are honest with each other
  • Listen to each other
  • Are ready to compromise when needed
  • Respect each other—boundaries, body, opinions, friends, family, belongings
  • Accept each other for who they are 
  • Can be true to their self
  • Support each other's goals and interests
  • Encourage each other to do and be your best

Healthy Intimate Relationships

Healthy dating relationships should start with the same qualities as healthy relationships. They may also include expressing physical affection—like holding hands, hugging, kissing, and sexual behaviour. Everyone deserves to be loved and to feel safe and secure.

At first, dating couples may want to spend all their time with each other. It is important for couples to spend time apart so they can develop and maintain healthy relationships with other people too.

It is helpful to see and understand that relationships can range from very healthy to very unhealthy. Many relationships fall somewhere in the middle; many are a mix of both. Just like people, each relationship has strengths and weaknesses.

Unhealthy relationships

In an unhealthy relationship, a person may feel unhappy, unsafe, or scared.

Unhealthy relationships usually involve one or more of these behaviours:

  • Using fear to control how a person talks, acts, and thinks
  • Using physical or emotional power to control another person
  • Doing physical, emotional, verbal, financial, or sexual abuse
  • Using guilt to control how someone talks, acts and thinks

Getting Help

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Help is available for people in unhealthy and abusive relationships. The Saillivik program protects and supports victims of family violence. Social workers can help women and children get away. Depending on the situation, they move family members to a safe place—a shelter or safe home.

Nunavut currently has Family Violence Shelters in the following communities:

  • Cambridge Bay, St.Michale's Crisis Shelter: (867) 983-5232
  • Iqaluit, Qimavvik Shelter: (867) 979-4500
  • Kugluktuk Women's Crisis Centre: (867) 982-3210
  • Rankin Inlet, Kataujaq Society Shelter: (867) 645-2214

If there is no Family Violence Shelter where you live, the police or your local Community Social Services Worker or Community Justice Outreach Worker will take you to the nearest safe home or place of safety.  You can find a list of how to contact these workers in each community on the Government of Nunavut website, Community Justice Outreach Workers.

In an emergency, call the RCMP. If there are children in the home, the RCMP will contact the social worker. You can also contact Nunavut Victim Services in an emergency or for support at 1-866-456-5216.