Domestic violence is a systematic and coercive pattern of behaviors that is intended to gain power and control over one’s intimate partner through fear, intimidation, and/or injury. Domestic violence is not limited to any particular race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, social background, or age. Anyone can find her/himself in an abusive relationship. Abusive people will exploit their partners’ vulnerabilities in order to gain and maintain control in the relationship. Domestic violence may include any or all of the following types of behaviors: intimidation, isolation, economic control, acts or threats of physical or sexual violence, sexual coercion, verbal or psychological abuse, interference with medical care, threats to take or harm children, pets, or others, obsessive jealousy and monitoring, and deprivation of basic needs and human rights.
Domestic violence refers to abuse in an intimate relationship. Defining “abuse” or even “intimate relationship” is not as easy as one might first think. An intimate relationship is one in which two people, heterosexual or homosexual, are dating, living together, married, or separated. Basically, the two people are well known to each other and have, or have had, emotional ties to each other. In many cases, they will also have economic, family, and other ties.
There are many types of abuse and they are all difficult to experience. Each type of abuse is serious and no one deserves to experience any form of it.
Emotional Abuse/Verbal Abuse
Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation or isolation.
Being repeatedly watched, followed or harassed.
Using money or access to accounts to exert power and control over a partner.
Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon.
Any action that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including restricting access to birth control or condoms.
The use of technology such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated through technology.