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Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is an escalating pattern of abuse where one partner in an intimate relationship controls the other through force, intimidation, or the threat of violence. Domestic Violence has no boundaries. It affects all ages, sexes, all cultures, all religion, all professions and people from all income levels.

Understanding Abuse

Domestic violence is about power and control and includes many different types of abuse. It is more than just the bruises and broken bones often associated with physical abuse. Domestic violence can also include sexual, psychological or emotional, and financial abuse.

Types of Abuse

It is not always easy to identify domestic violence. The following list does not encompass all types or tactics of abuse but provides a variety of examples. Also, it is not necessary for a person to identify with all, or even several of the examples in order to be in an unsafe situation. Recognizing abuse is the first step to getting help.

Physical abuse: occurs when one person uses physical force or the threat of physical force to intimidate, injure or endanger another person. There is a wide range of behaviors that fall into the category of physical abuse, including: pushing, hitting, kicking, grabbing, choking, throwing things, reckless driving, abandoning you in a dangerous place, and assault with a weapon.

Sexual abuse: can be defined as any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence.

Psychological or emotional abuse: can be verbal or nonverbal. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming; and nonverbal abuse may include behavior such as isolation, intimidation, and controlling. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

Financial abuse: is another way an abusive partner may try to gain control over you. Financial abuse can take many forms including:

  • Denying you access to funds
  • Tracking every penny you spend
  • Putting all bills in your name
  • Demanding your paycheck
  • Interfering with your work or not letting you work
  • Taking your car keys or preventing you from using your car

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