What is domestic violence

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Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Emotionally abusive relationship – does your partner:

  • Call you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
  • Not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  • Try to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Monitor where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
  • Not want you to work.
  • Control finances or refuses to share money.
  • Punish you by withholding affection.
  • Expect you to ask permission.
  • Threaten to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets.
  • Humiliate you in any way.

 Physically abusive relationship – does your partner:

  • Damage property when angry (throw objects, punch walls, kick doors, etc.).
  • Push, slap, bite, kick or choke you.
  • Abandon you in dangerous or unfamiliar places.
  • Scare you by driving recklessly.
  • Use a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  • Force you to leave your home.
  • Trap you in your home or keep you from leaving.
  • Prevent you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • Hurt your children.
  • Use physical force in sexual situations.

 Sexually abusive relationship: does your partner:

  • View women as objects and believe in rigid gender roles.
  • Accuse you of cheating or appear jealous of your outside relationships.
  • Want you to dress in a sexual way.
  • Insult you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
  • Ever forced or manipulate you into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
  • Hold you down during sex.
  • Demand sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you.
  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
  • Involve other people in sexual activities with you.
  • Ignore your feelings regarding sex.

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions you may be in an abusive relationship.

Call our 24-hour toll free crisis line at 800-332-7385
or call 211 to connect with other services that can help.