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About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of coercive behavior used by one partner in a relationship to gain and maintain power and control over the other partner or a family member.

Domestic violence can be economic, and/or psychological actions or threats. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound.

  • Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.

  • Economic Abuse: Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.

  • Psychological Abuse: Causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

  • Physical Abuse: Grabbing, pinching, hair-pulling, hitting, slapping, shoving, biting, etc. Physical abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use.

  • Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.

The Federal Bureau of Justice says:

85% to 90% of the perpetrators of intimate partner abuse are men who abuse their female partners;  

9% to 12% of perpetrators are from same sex relationships;

3% to 6% of perpetrators are women who abuse their male partners and;

that if all men and women who are abused reported the abuse, the percentages would stay about the same.


Abusers and the people they abuse are from all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds, neighborhoods and professions.
Abusive men share the belief that they are entitled to treat their partners any way they see fit to maintain control.
The only thing that puts a woman at risk for abuse is the fact that she is a woman.
Domestic violence has a horrific effect on not only women who are abused or sexually assaulted.  It significantly effects family members, friends, co-workers, businesses, neighbors, and the community at large.  Children who grow up witnessing their father abusing their mother are most seriously effected by this crime.  They develop a variety of social and physical problems and feel alone and afraid of the man who is supposed to protect them.  Many of them feel responsible for the beatings their father gives their mother.
Research shows that boys who grow up with a father that abuses their mother are 7 times more likely than other boys to abuse their intimate partners when they grow up.  Girls who grow up with an abusive father are not a risk for being with an abusive partner when they grow up. If they find themselves in a relationship with an abusive partner, it is more difficult for them to end the relationship than it is for other women who are abused.


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