Domestic violence affects everyone. Do not be a statistic.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors where one partner attempts to control the other through physical violence, verbal and emotional abuse, or the threat of violence. Intimate partner violence is NOT caused by stress, anger, drug or alcohol abuse, although these factors can make the violence worse. Domestic violence is about control; therefore, victims and perpetrators come from all walks of life. For more information, click here.
Types of Domestic Violence
Abuse can take on many forms. Some types are more subtle than others and might never be seen or felt by anyone other than the woman experiencing the abuse. The abuser uses a combination of tactics that work to control the victim. The four forms of abuse are physical, sexual, psychological, and economic. While physical assaults might occur infrequently, others occur daily. The use of these other tactics is effective because one battering episode builds on past episodes and sets the stage for future episodes.
Physical Abuse- Shoving, pushing, restraining, throwing, slapping, punching, choking, using weapons against the victim.
Psychological Abuse- Verbally attacks and humiliates in private and public, harasses about affairs the abuser imagines, stalks, isolates from family and friends, threatens children or pets, threatens suicide, threatens to kill the victim, children, or other family members.
Sexual Abuse- Physically forces sex or is sexually violent, coerces into sexual acts the victim is uncomfortable with, inflicts injuries that are sex-specific.
Economic Abuse- Controls all the money, sabotages the victim's attempts to work or go to school, controls access to transportation, food, clothing.
The Cycle of Violence
There are 3 phases to the cycle of violence 1. Tension Building Phase 2. Abuse/Violence Phase and 3. Honeymoon/Apology Phase. Domestic violence is gradual-it builds slowly, first with minor controlling behaviors, then psychological abuse, and finally physical violence. In the early stages of a relationship, the victim may not even realize that she is in an abusive relationship. By the time the victim does realize it, there are often many barriers to leaving.
The tension building phase; this is the phase where everyone feels like they are walking on eggshells.
The violence phase; this is the phase where the violence/abuse happens.
The honeymoon phase; this is the hopeful phase for the victim, the abuser promises to change and that the abuse will not happen again.
For more information on the cycle of violence, click here.