What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the use of power and control within an intimate relationship that threatens a person’s well-being. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional and nancial. It can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or dating.
Domestic violence affects people of all socio- economic backgrounds and education levels.
It can happen to friends, family or co-workers. It can happen to you.
Respectful relationships allow both partners to feel supported and connected but still feel independent. Ultimately, the two people in the relationship decide what is healthy for them and what is not. If something doesn’t feel right, you should have the freedom to voice your concerns to your partner.
Preventing domestic violence begins when we all agree that fair treatment in a relationship is a basic right.
A physical abuser:
- damages property when angry.
- pushes, slaps, bites, kicks or chokes.
- abandons a partner in dangerous or unfamiliar places.
- drives recklessly to frighten.
- traps a partner in their home or keeps them from leaving.
- prevents a call to police or for medical attention.
- hurts children and/or pets.
A sexual abuser:
- appears jealous of a partner’s outside relationships.
- wants a partner to dress in a sexual way.
- insults in sexual ways or calls a partner sexual names.
- restricts access to birth control and/or medical care.
- forces unwanted sexual activity.
- does not ask consent for sexual activity.
An emotional abuser:
- continually criticizes.
- acts jealous or possessive.
- monitors daily travel, phone calls and with whom time is spent.
- expects a partner to ask permission.
- threatens to hurt a partner, children, friends or pets.
- tries to isolate a partner from family or friends.
- accuses a partner of cheating.
A financial abuser:
- sabotages work by stalking or harassing at the workplace.
- controls how money is spent.
- denies access to bank accounts.
- withholds money or gives an allowance.
- runs up large amounts of debt on joint accounts.
- withholds funds for basic needs such as food and medicine.
- demands a partner’s public benefits.