Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in an intimate relationship used by one partner to gain power and control over the other partner. Relationship violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, ability, level of education, sexual orientation or economic background.
Abuse takes many forms:
- Emotional – Assaulting your self-esteem.
- Verbal – Name-calling, threatening, or putting you down.
- Psychological – Undermining your sense of reality and questioning your rationality or decision-making, causing you to feel you are “going crazy.”
- Physical – Hurting your body, including kicking, punching, shoving, slapping, pushing, or restraining.
- Sexual – Calling you vulgar names, criticizing your body, pressuring or coercing you to perform sexual acts you are uncomfortable with, rape.
- Stalking – Constant calling or texting, using GPS devices to track your movements, persistent communications through mail or email that are unwanted.
- Spiritual – Attacking your spiritual or religious beliefs. Compromising your ability to participate in your faith or socialize with your faith community.
- Financial – Controlling and manipulating you by threatening your economic status and/or basic needs.
- Sexual Identity – Threatening to “out” you to people who do not know your sexual orientation.
- Immigration – Using your immigration status and fear of deportation to control you.
- Reproductive – Sabotaging or preventing your use of birth control. Intentionally trying to impregnate you without your consent.
- Destructive Acts – Actual or threatened assault of your property or pets to scare you.