What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners.  This can include married couples, couples that have a child together, couples that live together, or adults abusing one another (parents and children or siblings). Domestic violence statistically is more likely to happen to a woman, but it can happen to men also. Domestic violence also happens in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered relationships.

Types of Abuse

Verbal:
Yelling
Name calling
Threatening to hurt or kill (you or themselves)
Constant blaming
Shaming

Emotional:
Apologizing and making false promises to end the abuse; false hope
Isolation from others
Ridiculing, criticizing, blaming
Neglecting physical or emotional needs
Abusing pets
Accusing of affairs
Monitoring conversations
Making accounts for time
Criticizing friends and family
Embarrassing you in front of others
Constant phone calls

Sexual:
Constant sexual demands
Forcing unwanted sexual acts
Committing rape or incest
Treating others as sex objects
Making demeaning sexual remarks
Forcing pregnancy or abortion

Financial/Resource:
Taking or breaking phone
Controlling money/bank accounts
Destroying property
Taking your keys/purse/car or disabling car
Sabotaging work or school

Physical:
Holding down (restraining)
Poking, grabbing, pinching,
Pushing, shoving
Locking in or out of the house
Subjecting to reckless driving
Kicking, biting, spitting
Hitting, slapping
Choking, strangling
Burning
Throwing or hitting you with an object
Using a knife or gun

Signs a person is being abusive:

1. Jealousy and Possessiveness. Wants to be with you constantly. Accuses you of cheating all the time. Follows you around and frequently calls. Asks friends to check up on you.

2. Controlling Behavior. Constantly questions who you spend your time with, what you did/wore/said, where you went. Makes you ask permission to do certain things. Acts like you don’t have the ability to make good decisions. Hides controlling behavior by pretending to be concerned for your safety.

3. Quick Involvement. Six months or less before living together or engaged. Claims love at first sight. Pressure for commitment.

4. Unrealistic Expectations. Compliments you in a way that makes you seems superhuman. Over-flattering. Expects you to be perfect. Says, “I am all you need. You are all I need.”

5. Isolation. Puts down everyone you know. Refuses to let you use car or talk on phone. Makes it difficult for you to go to work or school. Tries to cut off all your resources.

6. Blames Others for Problems. If there are problems at school or work, it is always someone else’s fault. If anything goes wrong in the relationship, it is all your fault. Won’t take responsibility for own behavior.

7. Blames Others for Feelings. Tries to make you responsible for how they feel. “You’re making me mad.” “You’re hurting me by not doing what I ask.” “I can’t help being angry.” Won’t take responsibility for own feelings.

8. Hypersensitivity. Easily insulted. Sees everything as a personal attack. Looks for fights. Blows things out of proportion. Unpredictable. You can never tell what will upset him.

9. Disrespectful or Cruel to Others. Punishes animals or children cruelly. Insensitive to pain and suffering. Teases children until they cry. Doesn’t treat others with respect. Dismissive of others’ feelings.

10. “Playful” Use of Force During Sexual Activity. Little concern over whether you want sex or not, and uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance. Makes sexual or degrading jokes about you.

11. Verbal Abuse of Any Kind.

12. Rigid Sex Roles. Believes women are inferior to men. Unable to be a whole person without a relationship.

13. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Sudden mood changes- like they have two personalities. One minute nice, next minute exploding. One minute happy, next minute sad.

14. Past Battering. You may hear the person was abusive to someone else. They say it’s a lie, or their ex was “crazy,” or it wasn’t that bad.

15. Threats of Any Kind.

16. Breaking or Striking Objects. Breaks loved one’s possessions. Beats on table with fists. Throws objects.

17. Any Force During an Argument. Pushes, shoves, or physically restrains you from leaving a room.

18. Doesn’t Respect Your Property or Privacy.