YOU ARE NOT ALONE
1 IN 4 WOMEN
& 1 IN 7 MEN
HAVE BEEN ABUSED
BY THEIR PARTNER AT SOMETIME IN THEIR LIVES
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence is a broad term used to define different forms of interpersonal violence. All these different forms can be considered to be part of the domestic violence "umbrella." However, the most common and dangerous form of domestic violence is battering. Battering is a deliberate, on-going pattern of abusive tactics used to establish and maintain power and control over the other partner in an intimate relationship.
Types of Abuse
Physical Abuse: Pushing, shoving, hitting, etc., using weapons or other objects to cause injury. Includes restraining. Causing or attempting to cause physical harm. Examples include grabbing, pinching, slapping, kicking.
Sexual Abuse: Any unwanted or inappropriate touching, forcing or coercing to engage in sexual acts against his/her will. Can also include attempting to undermine sexuality. Examples include treating you in a sexually derogatory manner, accusations of cheating, criticizing sexual performance
Emotional Abuse: Name calling, put-downs, playing mind games, etc. Using tactics to attack a person’s sense of self. Undermining victim's sense of worth. Another example is manipulating victim's emotions and feelings to feel guilty.
Psychological: Instilling or attempting to instill fear. Examples include intimidation, destruction of pets and/or property, stalking, isolation from family and friends, threats of physical harm
Financial: Making or attempting to make the victim financially dependent. Examples include controlling all of the money, not allowing you to work, checking your receipts and monitoring where the money is being spent, giving you an allowance
Other Abusive Tactics
· Economic abuse
· Destruction of property or pets
· Using male privilege
· Minimizing, denying, & blaming
· Manipulation of children
· Coercion & threats/Intimidation
Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.1
Within the LGBTQ community domestic violence occurs at a equal or even higher rate than in the heterosexual community. 1
Female and male victims expereince different patterns of domestic vioence. Women often expereince multiple forms such as rape, stalking, and physical violence where as men most often expereince physical violence. 1
On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.2
Planning for Safety
Without help, domestic violence often continues and usually gets more severe over time. If you decide to leave your partner, it may be an especially dangerous time.
To Increase Your Safety:
Tell others you trust, such as friends, family, neighbors, & co-workers what is happening and talk about ways they can help.
Memorize emergency numbers, (such as 911), support persons, & crisis hotlines.
Identify escape routes & places to go if you need to flee from an unsafe situation quickly.
Talk with your children about what they should do if a violent incident occurs or if they are afraid.
Put together an emergency bag with money/checkbooks/credit cards, extra car keys, medications, social security cards, birth certificates, immigration documents, medical cards, important phone numbers, extra clothes, etc. Keep it somewhere safe and accessible, such as with a trusted friend.
Trust your instincts. If you think you are in immediate danger, you probably are. Call for help or get to a safe place as soon as you can.
Technology Warning: The internet, caller ID, cell phones, & other technologies can enhance survivor safety, but may also be used by abusers as tools for stalking, harassment, & intimidation.
It Is Not Your Fault
If you are being abused by your partner, you may feel confused, afraid, angry, and/or trapped. All of these emotions are normal. You may also blame yourself. No matter what others may say, you are never responsible for your partners’ abusive behaviors. Domestic violence is not a private matter, a couples’ problem, a domestic "squabble" or a "fight." It is not a momentary loss of temper or an anger management issue. While alcohol or drug abuse may escalate the violence they are not the cause. Violence is a choice the abuser makes. No one deserves to be abused.
Developing a support network can be very helpful to you, especially as you plan for safety. There are many places you can turn to for assistance.
Community Support: Friends, family, women’s & community groups, churches, & service providers (e.g. health & counseling centers) can provide a variety of resources, support, & assistance.
Legal Options: You can report the abuse to the police which may result in criminal charges being filed. You can also file for a civil protection order that prohibits your partner from contacting you. Your local DV program can assist you with a family violence protection order. For more information on protection orders click here.
Domestic Violence Services: Provides free & confidential help to individuals being abused (includes his/her family). Services are provided regardless of whether you choose to stay with or leave your partner. Information for these services is on the services page.
The Power and Control Wheel
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
202 East Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802
Physical and sexual assaults, or threats to commit them, are the most apparent forms of domestic violence and are usually the actions that allow others to become aware of the problem. However, regular use of other abusive behaviors by the batterer, make up a larger and more common system of abuse.
The Power & Control Wheel is a particularly helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive behaviors, which are used by a batterer to establish and maintain control over his partner. Very often, one or more violent incidents are accompanied by an array of these other types of abuse but this is not always the case. A violent incident is more likely to occur when the batterer feels like these other behaviors aren't working and he is losing control.