What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in an intimate relationship in which one partner tries to control and dominate the other. The behavior may be verbally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive. Assaulting, threatening or stalking an intimate partner is also a crime.
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence – any age, race, ethnic group, economic level, gender, or sexual orientation. Domestic violence occurs between spouses, partners, family members, or people who are dating. And it can happen anywhere.
Kinds of Domestic Violence include:
- Economic Abuse – controlling money and resources
- Emotional Abuse – humiliating, threatening, lying, saying you are “bad”
- Physical Abuse – pushing, hitting, punching, choking
- Verbal Abuse – yelling, talking over you, not listening, swearing
- Sexual Abuse – forcing sex or making you do things you do not want to do
- Stalking/Harassing – following and/or bothering you everywhere
The following checklist may help you decide if you or someone you know is being abused.
Does your partner:
- Constantly criticize you and your abilities as a spouse or partner, parent, or employee?
- Behave in an over-protective manner or become extremely jealous?
- Threaten to hurt you, your children, pets, family members, friends, or themselves?
- Prevent you from seeing family and/or friends?
- Get suddenly angry or “lose their temper”?
- Destroy personal property or throw things around?
- Deny you access to family assets like bank accounts, credit cards, or the car, or control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?
- Use intimidation or manipulation to control you or your children?
- Hit, punch, slap, kick, shove, choke, or bite you?
- Prevent you from going where you want to, when you want to, and with whomever you want to?
- Make you have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually that you don’t want to do?
- Apologize and promise not to do it again?
- Make excuses for actions (I drank too much, had a tough day at work, etc.)?
- Humiliate or embarrass you in front of other people?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be a victim of domestic violence. You are not to blame and you are not alone – millions of people are abused by their partners every year. In any case, you need not face domestic violence alone. You deserve help, and help is available by calling our Hotline at 203-731-5206.
If you are concerned that someone you know or work with is being abused, please call us, we can help.