What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviors and tactics used by one person over another to gain power and control. This may include verbal abuse, financial abuse, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. Domestic violence occurs in heterosexual, as well as same-sex partnerships, and crosses all ethnic, racial and socio-economic lines.
Domestic violence is a re-occuring cycle of control and violence that often worsens over time. Listed below, are the four main types of abuse:
- Hitting, choking, slapping, pushing, spitting, kicking, shaking
- Threats of violence
- Throwing objects
- Physical restraint
- Constant insults and ridicule
- Isolation from family and friends
- Extreme jealousy
- Destroying or throwing away vicitim's possessions
- Forcing sexual acts
- Coercion of sex through threats or manipulation
- Forced to watch pornography or other sexual acts
- Harrassing communication containing sexual content
- Not allowing protection or contraception
Look at the Power and Control Wheel, below. An abusive person often will use abusive, controlling behaviors in addition to, or before physical violence. Seek help immediately!
If you are in an abusive relationship and would like help or more information, please call the CASA hotline at 344-8111 and speak to a trained advocate. Services are available twenty-four hours everyday and all services are free of charge.