Domestic Abuse

What is domestic abuse?

  • Domestic Abuse is a pattern of coercive tactics that are used to gain and maintain power and control in an ongoing, familiar relationship.
  • Several forms of abuse, such as psychological, emotional, physical, sexual and/or economic, are used in combination.
  • Abusers believe they are entitled to control their victims think, feel and behave. This control extends to the entire household, and children in the home are harmed by the behavior and parenting tactics of the abuser.
  • Physical and sexual violence may be a component of the abuse but some victims are controlled through intimidation, threats, emotional and sociological abuse and isolation-no physical abuse is necessary.
  • In an abusive relationship, one party fears the other and attempts to comply with the other's wishes to avoid harm.
  • Anyone can become a victim of domestic violence. Abuse occurs in all racial, ethnic, economic, religious age groups and across the lifespan.
  • Victims are primarily female, although men can also be harmed.
  • Abusers who use power and control to gain and maintain power and control include spouses, partners, adult children or other family members and some caregivers.
  • Intimate partners may be of the same sex or opposite sex.