Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can take on a variety of forms:

  • Physical abuse: pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, kicking, punching, choking, pinching, burning, beating, spitting, hair pulling, throwing objects, damaging property, cruelty to pets or animals, threats or use of weapons (guns, knives, or any object), physical restraint (pinning against wall, floor, bed, etc.).
  • Emotional abuse: name calling, verbal insults, degrading remarks, attempts to control, confinement, manipulation, extreme jealousy, explosive temper, harsh criticism, threats and harassment.
  • Social abuse: checking the victim's phone, invading the victim's privacy, confining the victim to the house, isolating the victim from friends and family, embarrassing the victim in public, not allowing the victim to attend school, not allowing the victim to work, convincing friends and family that the victim is crazy, slandering the victim's reputation.
  • Sexual abuse: unwanted touching, forced sexual activity, painful or degrading acts during intercourse, sexual exploitation through pornography or prostitution, withholding of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy or protection from sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Economic abuse: denying access to family assets (bank accounts, credit cards, vehicle, etc.), expecting the victim to live on an impossible allowance, not allowing the victim to work or attend school, demanding paychecks, etc.
  • Spiritual abuse: Using religion or spiritual beliefs to control, making all the family decisions, rigidly defining the roles of women and men in a relationship/marriage, expecting to be treated with a level of respect that is not returned.
Possible Characteristics of Abusers
  • Tries to control others.
  • Rushes into relationships.
  • Manipulative.
  • Criticizes/humiliates.
  • Belittles/degrades.
  • Puts others down.
  • Has unrealistic expectations.
  • Uses intimidation.
  • Makes frequent demands.
  • Excessively jealous/possessive.
  • Explosive temper.
  • Violent personality changes.
  • Irrational anger/rage.
  • Denies responsibility for own actions.
  • Blames others.
  • Makes threats.
  • Damages property.
  • Controls finances.
  • Abuses drugs/alcohol.
  • Abuses pets/animals.
  • May have grown up in abusive household.
  • Isolate partner from friends/family.
  • Belief in traditional gender roles.
  • Threatens to commit suicide.
  • Threatens to harm or kill.

Effects of Abuse on Victims

  • Feeling hopeless and helpless.
  • Feeling confused about the
  • Blames herself for the abuse.
  • Makes excuses for the abuser's behavior.
  • Feels isolated from friends and family.
  • Wonders if she is crazy/insane.
  • Feels emotionally numb.
  • Feels embarrassed about the abuse.
  • Loss of self-esteem.
  • Tries to change the abuser.
  • Hopes the abuser will change.
  • Fears for her safety/wellbeing.
  • Experiences nightmares/sleep disturbances.
  • Has difficulty concentrating.
  • Experiences disturbed eating patterns.
  • Developed hyper vigilance,
    depression and/or anxiety.
  • Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.



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