What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one person to obtain and have power and control over another person. Violence can happen in any domestic relationship. An abuser can be a spouse, partner, roommate, care provider, or other trusted individual. It can be confusing sometimes to know what are healthy relationships and what are abusive relationships. It can incorporate many types of abuse such as emotional, physical, sexual and economical.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence! They may be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status.


Emotional or Psychological Abuse

One person controls the relationship by using fear, force or intimidation and eventually weakens your feelings of self-worth, confidence, and independence.

The abuser may use intimidation, manipulation, isolation, privilege, coercion, and threats, amongst other tactics to project the illusion that without them there is no hope. Emotional abuse can include your partner giving you the “silent treatment” to control you or denying things they’ve said to you or things they have done to you.

You may be a victim of emotional abuse if your partner:

  • Calls you names, bullies you or continually criticizes you
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive
  • Is always right and puts you down in a way that makes you doubt yourself
  • Isolates you from family or friends
  • “Takes over” your friendship
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Does not want you to work
  • Controls finances or refuses to share bank information or money
  • Punishes you by withholding affection or giving you the “silent treatment”
  • Expects you to ask permission for all you spend or do
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family, or your pets
  • Humiliates or embarrasses you in front of others
  • Makes you feel controlled, isolated, intimidated, or exhausted

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. There is a broad range of behaviors that can be defined as physical abuse.

Has your partner done any of the following:

  • Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.)
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you
  • Hit or poked you with another object
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place
  • Scared you by driving recklessly
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you
  • Forced you to leave your home
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving
  • Prevented you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
  • Hurt  your children and or pets
  • Used physical force in sexual situations
  • Committed rape

Sexual Abuse

Sexual violence is common in abusive relationships. Any situation in which one is forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence.

The person uses force, threats, or takes advantage of someone unable to give consent to sexual acts.

  • Views women/men as objects and believes in rigid gender roles
  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Wants you to dress in a sexual way
  • Insults you in a sexual way or calls you sexual names
  • Has ever forced or manipulated you into having sex or performing sexual acts
  • Held  you down against  your will during sex
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired, or after beating you
  • Hurt or humiliated you with weapons or unwanted objects during sex
  • Involved  other people in sexual activities with you
  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex
  • Refused to use protection or practice safe sex with you
  • Caused pain on purpose during sex or sexual acts
  • Committed rape against you

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Family Violence.
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