What is Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to gain power and control over an intimate partner. Domestic abuse accounts for any physical, sexual, emotional, financial, or technological action (or threat of an action), used to coerce a partner. This includes behavior meant to intimidate, manipulate, isolate, humiliate, blame, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Domestic abuse can effect anyone, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It impacts people of all socioeconomic statuses and educational backgrounds.

Domestic violence can occur in any type of relationship, whether you are dating, married, or cohabitating. Victims of domestic abuse can include a child, relative, or other household member.

How Do You Know If You’re Being Abused?

Domestic abuse can take many forms, and often escalates in frequency and severity. Consider these questions to reflect on how you are being treated and how you treat your partner:

Does your partner…

  • Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?
  • Put down your accomplishments?
  • 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?
  • 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 friends or family?
  • Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to “teach you a lesson”?

Do you…

  • Sometimes feel scared of how your partner may behave?
  • 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?
  • 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 things are happening in your relationship, talk to someone. Without help, the abuse will continue. Making that first call to seek help is a courageous step. Click HERE to find available, local resources.