What is Domestic Violence?
Defining Terms & Acronyms
*Co-habitation or sexual involvement is not necessary to establish that a person is an intimate partner.
What is Abuse/ Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Violence?
Many people who are being abused do not see themselves as victims. Many abusers do not see themselves as being abusive. People often think of domestic violence as only physical violence (hitting, visible bruising, etc.) However, domestic violence takes other forms, such as verbal, psychological, emotional, financial, spiritual, and sexual.
Domestic violence is about one person in a relationship using a pattern of behaviors to control the other person. It can happen to people who are married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated, or dating.
Crime Against Women
(Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence , 1993-2001, February, 2003)
Cycle of Violence
The cycle of violence is the process by which power is maintained by one person over another. The image below details the 3 main phases of the cycle of violence. How long each phase lasts varies with the relationship -- each cycle may take days or even years. While most domestic violence situations follow this cycle, please note that it may not be true for all relationships.
Forms of Abuse
Examples of Abuse Include:
Power and Control Wheels
Domestic violence stems from the abuser exerting power over and controlling their intimate partner. The following wheels show how an abuser may use their power to control a survivor of domestic violence. (Click on th images to view them in larger size)
Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
Do you ever:
If your partner repeatedly uses one or more of the following to control you:
Barriers to Leaving an Abusive Relationship
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