What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic abuse is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that is a pervasive life-threatening crime affecting people in all our communities regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, social standing and immigration status.
Abuse is not love. It is one person in a relationship having power and control over the other person.
Domestic violence takes many forms: physical; emotional; economic; stalking and harassment; and sexual.
Characteristics of Domestic Abuse
Physical abuse does not always leave marks or cause permanent damage:
- Scratching, biting, grabbing or spitting.
- Shoving and pushing.
- Slapping and punching.
- Throwing objects to hurt or intimidate you.
- Destroying possessions or treasured objects.
- Hurting or threatening to hurt your children and/or pets.
- Disrupting your sleeping patterns to make you feel exhausted.
- Attacking or threatening to attack with a weapon.
- Any threats or actual attempts to kill you.
Emotional/psychological abuse is a behavior your partner uses to control you or damage your emotional well-being. It can be verbal or non-verbal:
- Name-calling, mocking, intimidation and making humiliating remarks or gestures.
- Yelling in your face or standing is a menacing way.
- Manipulating your children.
- Telling you what to do or where you can and cannot go.
- Placing little value on what you say.
- Interrupting, changing topics, not listening or responding, and twisting your words.
- Putting you down in front of other people.
- Saying negative things about your friends and family.
- Preventing or making it difficult for you to see friends or relatives
- Cheating or being overly jealous.
- Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior by blaming others or saying you caused it.
- Monitoring your phone calls, texts, car and computer use.
Economic/financial abuse happens when the abuser makes a victim entirely financially dependent on the abuser, with no power or say in the relationship:
- Forbidding the victim to work or attend school.
- Sabotaging employment opportunities by giving the victim a black eye or other visible injury prior to an important meeting.
- Jeopardizing employment by stalking or harassing the victim at the workplace.
- Denying access to a vehicle or damaging the vehicle so that the victim cannot get to work.
- Sabotaging educational opportunities by destroying class assignments.
- Withholding money or giving an allowance.
- Denying access to bank accounts.
- Hiding family assets.
- Running up debt in the victim’s name.
Stalking and Harassment
Stalking and harassment can happen between strangers or in relationships, where the abusive partner or ex demands your time even after you make it clear you do not want contact:
- Making unwanted visits or sending you unwanted messages (voicemails, text messages, emails, etc.).
- Following you, including installing GPS tracking software on your car or cell phone without your knowledge or consent.
- Checking up on you constantly.
- Embarrassing you in public.
- Refusing to leave when asked.
- Sexual abuse does occur in committed relationships and marriages.
If you recognize some of the mentioned signs in your life – call Victim Support Hotline 116006. You will receive psychological and informative support.