Domestic violence or intimate partner violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behaviors that are used as a part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It can also include psychological, emotional, and financial abuse. While the frequency and violence can vary in an abusive relationship, the consistent theme is the perpetrator’s consistent efforts to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.
Domestic violence is often committed by a male partner against a female partner, however, domestic violence can occur in same sex relationships at the same or higher rates. Statistically, most perpetrators of domestic violence are male, however, domestic violence can be perpetrated by anyone.
Domestic violence can also include power and control perpetrated by a family member against another family member. It is often associated with intimate partner relationships but can, in some cases, include family members. If you have questions, please call us, an advocate can help!
The following checklist may help you decide if you or someone you know is being abused.
Does your partner:
• constantly criticize you and your abilities as a spouse or partner, parent or employee?
• behave in an over-protective manner or become extremely jealous?
• threaten to hurt you, your children, pets, family members, friends or his/her self or themself?
• prevent you from seeing family or friends?
• get suddenly angry or "lose their temper"?
• destroy personal property or throw things around?
• deny you access to family assets like bank accounts, credit cards, or the car, or control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?
• use intimidation or manipulation to control you or your children?
• hit, punch, slap, kick, shove, choke or bite you?
• prevent you from going where you want to, when you want to, and with whomever you want to?
• force you to have sex or do things sexually that you don’t want to do?
• humiliate or embarrass you in front of other people?
Answering "yes" to any of these questions could be an indicator of domestic violence. You are not to blame and you are not alone - domestic violence is unfortunately a common crime. Although not all acts of domestic violence are violations of the law, you need not face domestic violence alone.
You deserve help, and help is available.