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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