Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one individual intended to assert power and control over another individual in the context of an intimate relationship, (i.e. spouses, ex-spouses, people living together, or those who have a child in common). Domestic Violence is the most common form of violence and the most underreported crime. It is maintained by societal and cultural attitudes, institutions, and laws which are not consistent in naming this violence as a wrong.
Domestic violence can include a wide variety of abusive behaviors such as physical, verbal, or sexual abuse. It often increases in frequency and intensity. These behaviors may include (but are not limited to):
Abuse of pets
Destruction of Property
Domestic Violence does not discriminate. Both men and women can be the abuser or the abused. Abuse can and does occur in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
“Why would someone stay in an abusive relationship?”
For most of us, making the decision to leave an abusive relationship is never an easy one. A person involved in a violent relationship may be tied to her partner financially and emotionally. In addition to the internal pressures she faces, she may also have to overcome religious, cultural or family pressure to stay and make the relationship work.
Victims of domestic violence may be forced into isolation. Abusers often forbid their victims from talking on the phone, reading the newspaper, or leaving the house. It is important to make victims of domestic violence aware of emergency shelters across the country, similar to Lisa’s House.
“What can I do for a friend or family member in an abusive relationship?”
Often the greatest obstacle in a domestic violence relationship is society’s lack of understanding about the issue. Call Project Horizon to learn more about domestic violence.
Let your friend know that you care, but remember that the decisions are hers to make. Focus on supporting her by providing whatever help you can such as transportation, childcare, financial assistance, or an ear to listen.
Be willing to get involved. Domestic violence is not just a private family matter. It is a crime that may result in injury and carries serious repercussions for your friend, family, children, and your entire community. Take a stand against domestic violence.
Back to "Dynamics of Violence"
Go to "Sexual Assault"
Go to "Child Abuse"