Any act carried out with the intention or perceived intention of physically or psychologically hurting another person (slapping, threatening, beating, etc); acting with or characterized by strong physical force.
The abuser is related to or acquainted with the victim.
Victim’s of Domestic Violence include spouses, intimate partners, children, siblings, and the elderly.
Whether the abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, the destruction of property and/or pets, or interference with the victim’s personal liberty, all are done without concern for the physical or mental well being of the victim. Regardless of which form occurs in a relationship, it is violence.
PHYSICAL ABUSE – is the most obvious to identify. It includes pushing, shoving, slapping, punching, kicking, biting, choking, and pinching. Other types of physical assault include abandonment, subjecting a person to reckless driving, forcing a person off the road, refusal to get help when sick or injured, and threats or use of an object or weapon against a person.
SEXUAL ABUSE – includes forced sexual activity, as well as excessive jealousy and sexual accusations. Sexual assault often starts with demeaning victims through jokes, name calling, and unwanted touching. Sometimes the victim will not realize that they have been sexually abused. Victims submit to their partners’ sexual demands because they don’t feel they have a right to refuse and it is easier to give in and be left alone. Some victims fear serious repercussions if they refuse.
SOCIAL ABUSE – keeps the victim isolated from friends and family. Victims are often not allowed to use the phone or go anywhere alone. They are dependent on the abuser for all social contacts; consequently there is nowhere to go when a beating occurs. Many victims live like prisoners in their own homes. For example, to make sure a victim is going to the exact place they said they were, an abuser may check the odometer on the car before and after each trip or only give the victim enough gas to get to the store and back home, etc.
FINANCIAL ABUSE – begins with the abuser’s complete control of the household finances. Victims who work might be forced to turn their paychecks over to the abuser, and are allotted no money or barely enough to live on. By placing all family assets (checking and saving accounts, cars, homes/leases, CD’s) in the abuser’s name only, the victim becomes financially dependent, with no ready cash to get away. Putting only the abuser’s name on utilities and charge accounts also denies the victim access to credit.
Battering is an intentional act used to gain power and control over another person. Physical abuse is only one part of a whole spectrum of abusive behavior which an abuser uses against his/her partner. Violence is never an isolated behavior.
The best judge of whether or not a person has been battered is the person themselves.
Over time domestic violence accelerates both in frequency and intensity.
Domestic Violence is against the law, a serious social problem, a learned response (in many instances) which is passed from one generation to another. It is not related to discipline; discipline is consistent and takes place in an atmosphere of love. Domestic Violence most often leads to bodily and emotional scars, broken relationships, broken lives, and it may lead to suicide or homicide.