Definition: Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior which keeps one partner in a position of power over the other partner through the use of fear, intimidation and control.

Domestic violence is a reality that exists in every community across the United States. One in three women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. Domestic violence does not discriminate, it affects all cultures, religions, ethnic groups, and socio-economic sectors.

It is a common misconception that domestic violence is only physical abuse. That is just one form of control. Emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse can be just as damaging, if not more.


Types of Domestic Violence and Abuse:

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Types of Domestic Violence and Abuse:
Many abusers behave in ways that include more than one type of domestic abuse and the boundaries between some of these behaviors may overlap. There are different types of domestic abuse including:

  • Economic
  • Emotional / Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual

Emotional or Psychological Abuse – can be verbal or nonverbal. Its aim is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming and intimidation.

Physical Abuse – is the use of physical force. Physical abuse includes hitting, grabbing, choking, throwing things and assault with a weapon.

Sexual Abuse – is forced, manipulated or coerced sexual contact. It includes rape, child sexual abuse, same-sex assault, acquaintance rape, harassment and marital rape.

Economic or Financial Abuse – includes:

  • Controlling Finances
  • Withholding Money
  • Giving an "Allowance"
  • Making the victim account for every penny spent
  • Stealing from victim
  • Preventing victim from working
  • Sabotaging victim’s job (making him/her miss work, calling constantly, etc.)

Is Someone you Know Being Abused in a Relationship?

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The most important thing you can do is listen without judging, respect his/her decisions and help him/her to find ways to become stronger and safer.

  • Listen to what he/she has to say.
  • Believe what he/she tells you.
  • Take the abuse seriously.
  • Help him/her to recognize the abuse.
  • Help him/her to understand that the abuse is not his/her fault.
  • Tell him/her about available services, such as Hope Crisis Center.
  • Keep supporting him/her after he/she has left the relationship.