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What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. Family or household members include spouses / former spouses, those in
or formerly in a dating relationship, adults related by blood or marriage, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship. The batterer uses acts of violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation,
threats, psychological abuse, and isolation to coerce and to control the other person. The violence may not happen often, but may remain a hidden and constant terrorizing factor.
Domestic violence is not only physical and sexual violence but also psychological. Psychological violence means intense and repetitive degradation, creating isolation, and controlling the actions or behaviors of the spouse through intimidation or manipulation to the detriment of the individual. Domestic violence destroys the home. No one deserves to be abused. The responsibility for the violence belongs to the abuser. It is not the victim's fault! Abuse in a relationship is any act used to gain power and control over another person. Women who are abused physically are often isolated. Their partners tend to control their lives to a great extent as well as verbally degrade them.
LEARN THE WARNING SIGNS!
Disagreements develop from time to time in relationships. Domestic violence is not a disagreement. It is a whole pattern of behaviors used by one partner to establish and maintain power and control over the other. These behaviors can become more frequent and intense over time. The abusive person is responsible for these behaviors. That person is the only one who can change them. Don't wait until you and the ones you love get hurt. You Are Not Alone. Consider getting some help. Talk with friends about your situation. Listed below are some of the warning signs of domestic abuse. Please note, domestic violence doesn't happen to women only, men can be abused too!
USING PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE
Hair pulling, biting, shaking, pushing, pinching, choking, kicking, confinement, slapping, hitting, punching, using weapons, forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching in public or in private and depriving her of food or sleep.
USING EMOTIONAL ABUSE
Insulting her in public or in private
Putting down her friends and family
Making her feel bad about herself
Calling her names
Making her think she's crazy
Playing mind games
Making her feel guilty
Using Male Privilege; acting like "Master of the Castle"
Treating her like a servant
Making all the big decisions
Being the one to define men's and women's roles.
USING ECONOMIC ABUSE
Preventing her from getting or keeping a job
Making her ask for money
Giving her an allowance
Taking her money
Not letting her know about or have access to family income
Not allowing her a voice in important financial decisions
Demanding exclusive control over household finances
USING COERCION AND THREATS
Making or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her
Threatening to leave her, or to commit suicide
Threatening to report her to welfare
Making her drop charges
Making her do illegal things
Making her afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions
Throwing or smashing things, destroying property
Making her feel guilty about the children
Using the children to relay messages
Using visitation to harass her
Threatening to take the children away
Controlling what she does, who she sees, what she reads, & where she goes
Limiting her outside involvement
Refusing to let her learn to drive, go to school, or get a job
Not allowing her to freely use the car or the telephone
USING JEALOUSY AND BLAME TO JUSTIFY ACTIONS
Minimizing, Denying, Blaming
Making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously
Checking up on where she's been or who she's talked to
Accusing her of infidelity
Saying the abuse didn't happen
Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior
Saying she caused it
Why Get Help? The Danger is Real!
If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous. If the abuse continues without outside help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship. Domestic violence hurts all family members. When a person is abusive he or she eventually loses the trust and respect of his or her partner. Abused partners are afraid to communicate their feelings and needs. Everyone has the right to feel safe in a relationship. With help, people who are abusive can learn to be non-violent.