What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of violence or coercive behavior that someone uses to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Physical abuse includes slapping, punching, biting, kicking, or using a foreign object to inflict pain to one’s body. Physical abuse can also include the threat of contact caused to inflict pain.
The most common form of control and can often exist in relationships where there is not physical violence. This includes put-downs, name-calling, isolation from friends and family, and insults to one's intelligence or abilities in order to systematically break one's spirit and self-esteem. The victim may begin to feel as if the abuse is their fault or that they must deserve it.
Controlling and limiting a person's access to financial means, an abusive partner can assure that their victim will have limited resources if they have thoughts of leaving the relationship. Economic abuse includes limiting or restricting one’s access to employment, education, withholding basic needs, not allowing a partner access to the family’s money, or only allowing an allowance of minimal funds.
Unwanted sexual activity, through force or coercion. Perpetrators and victims do not have to be strangers in order for the sexual activity to be considered abuse. In fact, most victims of sexual abuse know their abuser.
Anyone can be affected by Domestic Violence, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic status.