What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions, or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Domestic violence cuts across all boundaries of culture, education, ethnicity, religion, income and age.

Do You Know Someone Who:

  • Feels unsafe in their own home?
  • Is forced to have sex?
  • Is kept from seeing friends or relatives?
  • Has been threatened by their partner?
  • Has dependents (such as children, pets, or parents) that have been threatened?
  • Is afraid of their partner?
  • Is frightened of their partner’s temper?
  • Feels isolated, alone, and afraid?
  • Feels they have nowhere else to go?
If the answer to one or more of these statements is yes, this person in a domestic violence situation and deserves better!

While the majority of these victims are women aged 18-24, abuse can happen to anyone.

Look for these signs, as they may indicate that someone you love is being abused by a partner or family member.

Types of Abuse:

Physical Abuse

Hitting, punching, pulling, slapping, striking with an object, kicking, strangling, biting, etc., are types of physical abuse. This includes preventing you from calling police and/or seeking medical attention.



Sexual Abuse

Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, treating one in a sexually demeaning manner, and controlling reproduction by sabotaging methods of birth control.



Emotional Abuse

Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to, constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.



Economical Abuse

Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.



Psychological Abuse

Elements of psychological abuse include, but are not limited to, causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; or forcing isolation from family, friends, or school, and/or work.

Recognize Early Warning Signs

  • Extreme jealousy
  • Controlling behavior
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Explosive anger
  • Isolates their partner from friends
    and family
  • Uses force during an argument
  • Threats of violence
  • Shows hypersensitivity
  • Believes in rigid sex roles
  • Blames others for personal
    problems or feelings
  • Cruel to animals or children
  • Verbally abusive
  • Abused former partners

Stats and Facts:

Sources: National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Center for Victims of Crime, and WomensLaw.org.

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