Domestic violence affects people from all backgrounds and affects both men and women. It doesn’t matter your age, race, sexuality, gender, socioeconomic status, financial income, or background, anyone can be affected by domestic violence.
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation within familial or intimate relationships.
Physical – examples include: pushing, shoving, tripping, holding down, hitting, slapping, suffocating, strangulation, restraining, kicking, giving inappropriate medication, etc.
Sexual – examples include: unwanted kissing, fondling, touching, unable to understand or give consent, threat of harm, rape or attempted rape, keeping someone from protecting themselves from sexual transmitted infections, pressuring someone to perform sex acts or forcing sex with a third party, restricting access to birth control, etc.
Emotional – examples include: yelling, threatening, name calling, intimidation factors, undermining authority, humiliating the victim, harassment, constant put-downs, “crazy making,” extreme jealousy, etc.
Financial – examples include: withholding money, depriving someone of financial benefits, stealing, forging checks or ATM card, etc.
Confinement – examples include: restraining or isolating someone, denying access to phone/mail, limiting time spent with loved ones, etc.
There are a variety of indicators that might suggest someone is in an abusive or violent relationship:
- Overall abuse: change in behavior, withdrawn, depressed, lack of interest in normal activities, frightened, fears being touched, change in sleep patterns, sudden onset of nightmares, explanations of injuries do not make sense
- Physical indicators: mysterious or unexplained bruises, marks, or cuts, long sleeves during warm weather, frequent use of hats or sunglasses and makeup to cover marks, broken bones or sprains
All victim services are free and confidential.