The information provided here is designed to help victims of domestic violence recognize options open to them. It is not intended to render any professional advice, legal, psychological, or otherwise. Individuals must consult competent professionals to receive advice appropriate to their circumstances.
What Is Domestic Violence?
We define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.
Domestic violence is the pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other partner. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone, and can occur in the forms of willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, psychological violence, emotional abuse and economic abuse. The frequency, severity, and forms of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.
Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life – therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.