What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence (DV) is abusive behavior - emotional, psychological, financial,
spiritual, sexual, or physical - that one person in an intimate relationship uses
in order to control the other. Abusers use fear and intimidation to maintain power
and control over their victims. Coercive tactics used by abusers include:
- Emotional/Psychological Battering
- verbal abuse (name-calling, belittling, swearing, screaming); isolation; limitation
of free movement (taking keys away, refusing access to a vehicle or phone, restricting
right to leave the house); stalking; sleep and nutrition deprivation; extreme jealousy;
threat of abuse; killing or threatening to kill you, a loved, or even a pet
- Financial/Economic Control
- withholding food or money, lying about assets, not allowing access to school or
work, destruction of property, on-the-job harassment
- Spiritual Abuse
- Undermining one’s faith, denying access to faith communities, using holy books and
reading to maintain power and control
- Sexual Violence
- accusations of infidelity, forced sexual activity, marital or acquaintance rape,
sexual abuse of your child
- Physical Abuse
- hitting, slapping, kicking, shoving, pushing, denial of medical care or medication,
punching, using or threatening to use a weapon
DV does not usually stop without intervention. Often it becomes more frequent and
more severe over time. The long term results can be devastating for the victim and
DV occurs in all racial, social, economic, religious and ethnic groups. It can occur
in heterosexual, gay and lesbian relationships.
DV is a crime! We believe that people have a right to lead lives free from violence.
The abuse is never the fault of the victim.