What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior or coercive control in any relationship that is used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over another.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Domestic Violence does not look the same in every relationship. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many things to gain power and control over their partners.
Examples of abuse include:
name-calling or putdowns
keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
actual or threatened physical harm
Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.
The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs
ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.
If you are being abused, REMEMBER...
You are not alone
It is not your fault
Help is available
DO YOU THINK YOU ARE BEING ABUSED ?
Look over the following questions. Think about how you are being treated and how you treat your partner. Remember, when one person scares, hurts, or continually puts down the other person, it is abuse.
Does your partner…
Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family? Put down your accomplishments or goals?
Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions? Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?
Tell you that you are nothing without them?
Treat you roughly-grab, push, pinch, shove or hit you? Threaten or abuse your pets?
Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?
Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?
Blame you for how they feel or act?
Pressure you sexually for things you aren't ready for?
Make you feel like there "is no way out'' of the relationship?
Prevent you from doing things you want-like spending time with your friends or family?
Try to keep you from leaving after a fight, or leave you somewhere after a fight to "teach you a lesson?"
Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?
Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner's behavior?
Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?
Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?
Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?
Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?
Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?
If any of these situations are happening in your relationship, talk to someone you trust or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (available 24/7/365): 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
Without help, the abuse will continue.
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.