What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of threatening or controlling behavior imposed on a woman by an intimate partner without regard for her rights, feelings, body, or health. A woman is abused if she has had intentional, often repeated, physical, sexual, or emotional harm done to her by a person with whom she is or has been in an intimate relationship.
What are the types of abuse?
Abuse can take many forms. Some common types of abuse include the following:
There are many ways an abuser may try to control a woman’s life. Some may take away her money, food, sleep, clothing, or transportation. Some may keep a woman from being in touch with her family and friends. Others may control her reproductive choices by trying to prevent the use of birth control.
How can I tell if my partner is abusive?
Disagreements and arguments, even heated ones, are part of a normal relationship. Physical violence or other abusive behavior is not. Everyone has a right to get angry. But no one has the right to express anger violently, to hurt you. Does your partner ever
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be involved in an abusive relationship. If so, you are not alone and you have choices. Remember, no one deserves to be abused.
Click on the FAQs below to expand
What is the first step in breaking a pattern of abuse?
The first step in breaking a violent pattern in a relationship is to tell someone. Let someone know you are abused so you can contact them in case you need to leave a dangerous situation. The person you tell may be a nurse or doctor, counselor or social worker, a close friend or family member, or a clergy member.
At first, you may find it hard to talk about the abuse. But many abused women feel a great sense of relief—and some sense of safety—once they have told someone outside the home.
Feelings of shame are common at this point. Keep in mind that no one deserves to be abused. Violent behavior is the fault of the one who is violent, not the victim.
What is a safety plan?
A safety plan can help you and your children get out of a violent situation quickly. You can take these steps ahead of time:
What resources are available to help abused women?
No matter what choices you make, counseling can help you with matters that will arise as you begin to make changes in your life, such as finding a job or dealing with money concerns or children’s problems.
Sometimes a woman who has been abused decides to break away from her partner for good. If this is the case and you are married to the abuser, get a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with abuse cases. If money is a concern, check out the resources in your area—many communities have legal aid services. Ask your health care provider, counselor, or the staff of a hotline to recommend one. For more information about resources in your area, call the 24–hour, toll–free National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800–799–SAFE (7233) and 800–787–3224 (TDD).