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What is Domestic Violence?

what is domestic violence

Domestic Violence is a pattern of controlling behaviors-violence or threats of violence-that one person uses to establish power over an intimate partner in order to control that partner’s actions and activities. Domestic Violence is not a disagreement, a marital spat, or an anger management problem. Domestic Violence is abusive, disrespectful, and hurtful behaviors that one partner chooses to use against the other partner.


You may be experiencing domestic violence if your partner is doing any of these or other unwanted behaviors:

  • Hurting you physically – slapping, hair pulling, strangling, hitting, kicking, grabbing, excessively squeezing or shaking, twisting your arms, burning you, or intentionally injuring you in any way
  • Using your children against you
  • Calling you names and hurting you emotionally
  • Harming your pets
  • Acting with extreme jealousy and possessiveness
  • Isolating you from family and friends
  • Threatening to commit suicide or to kill you
  • Controlling your money
  • Withholding medical help
  • Stalking you
  • Demanding sex or unwanted sex practices
  • Withholding medical help
  • Hiding assistive devices
  • Minimizing the destructive behavior
  • Threatening to “out” you if you are Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or transgendered
  • Controlling you with “that certain look in his eyes” or certain gestures


If you are a victim of abuse, you are never to blame. It is not your fault.