What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is when a person in your home tries to control his or her partner through intimidation, physical harm, threats and/or fear. This is also called abuse. Although all situations are different, many people live in similar environments. So remember, you are not alone.

Abuse usually does not start with physical violence. There are many forms of abuse. Some are more apparent than others, but they are all abuse. Here are some forms of domestic violence:

  • Physical Abuse: slapping, punching, grabbing, pushing, choking or any other action that causes physical harm to a person.
  • Emotional Abuse: extreme jealousy and possessiveness, setting all the rules in the relationship, always checking up on you, destroying personal property, controlling all the money, putting down your accomplishments, blaming you for his or her behavior, minimizing your goals, threatening to commit suicide if you leave, threatening or intimidating you and isolating you from friends and family.
  • Verbal Abuse: threats, humiliating remarks, constant put-downs, name-calling, yelling, screaming, inappropriate jokes, telling you how to act and what to wear and constant criticism.
  • Sexual Abuse: rape, forced sex, bragging about your sexual relationship, comparing you to past partners, flirting to make you jealous, using drugs and alcohol to get sex, continuously pressuring you for sex and constantly accusing you of being unfaithful.
  • Financial abuse: one person in the household controls all of the money.

All forms of abuse are damaging, confusing and harmful to you and your children. There is help for you and your family. The first steps are to talk about the abuse with someone you trust and seek the professional help that is available.

There is help. You are not alone and it’s okay to talk about it!


Next: What are the Signs of Abuse?

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