Domestic violence cuts across all boundaries of culture, education, ethnicity, religion, income and age.
feels unsafe in her/his own home?
is forced to have sex?
is kept from seeing friends or relatives?
has been threatened by her/his partner?
has children or pets that have been threatened?
is afraid of her/his partner?
is frightened of her/his partner’s temper?
feels isolated, alone, and afraid?
feels she/he has nowhere else to go?
If the answer to one or more of these statements is yes, she/he is in a domestic violence situation and deserves better!
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Hitting, punching, pulling, slapping, striking with an object, kicking, strangling, biting, etc., are types of physical abuse. This includes preventing you from calling police and/or seeking medical attention.
Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, treating one in a sexually demeaning manner and controlling reproduction by sabotaging methods of birth control.
Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.
Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.
Elements of psychological abuse include, but are not limited to, causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; or forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
Sources: National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Center for Victims of Crime, and WomensLaw.org.
Unpredictable mood swings
Alcohol and drug use
Isolates you from friends and family
Uses force during an argument
Believes in rigid sex roles
Blames other for personal problems or feelings
Cruel to animals or children
Abused former partners
Threats of violence
Physical signs of injury
Changes in mood or personality
Use of drugs/alcohol
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