Domestic Violence


What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can affect anyone. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, economic, or a combination of many types of abuse. Domestic violence is not a disagreement, a marital spat, or an anger management problem. It is a pattern of abusive, disrespectful, and controlling behaviors that one person uses to establish power over their partner in order to control that partner’s actions and activities. Look at the wheel above to see if someone you know maybe suffering from domestic violence.  


Warning Signs

Many people do not realize they are in an abusive relationship because they have not yet been physically hurt.

These are the most common warning signs associated with all types of abusive relationships: 

  • Is your partner insulting you, putting you down or blaming you for everything that happens? 
  • Is your partner telling you that you are not worthy or “not good enough” to be loved? 
  • Is your partner excessively jealous and/or overly possessive?
  • Is your partner prone to an explosive or “bad temper?” 
  • Is your partner keeping you from having your own friends, or seeing your family? 
  • Is your partner keeping you from having your own opinions, or not allowing you to speak freely? 
  • Is your partner keeping you from carrying or spending money, controlling how much you spend or making financial decisions without your input? 
  • Is your partner threatening you in any way, which makes you feel afraid? 
  • Is your partner someone who destroys things or possessions when angry? 
  • Is your partner pushing, slapping, hitting, kicking, biting, or grabbing you at the neck, or pulling your hair?
  • Is your partner forcing you to have sex when you don’t want to?
  • Is your partner threatening to hurt or kill you, your children, pets or members of your family? 

ANY of the following incidents are signs of increased danger:

  • Abuse is happening more often.
  • Partner’s controlling behavior becomes more obvious to others.
  • Stalking, electronic tracking and checking phone for calls and texts. 
  • Physical contact or “sex-play” gets rougher. 
  • Partner tries to strangle you, puts hands around your neck or applies pressure to your neck.
  • Partner has access to a gun.
  • Partner abuses drugs or alcohol. Increased danger if partner gets drunk or high daily or almost daily.
  • Partner threatens to kill self or others. 
  • You become pregnant and your partner becomes increasingly jealous or controlling. 
  • Partner is increasingly jealous, suspicious, or possessive. 
  • Partner hurts or kills pets. 
  • Partner feels as though he is losing control over you. 
  • Someone outside of your home becomes aware of the abuse. 

If you need help leaving an abusive relationship, call CASA’s 24 hour crisis hotline: 352-344-8111.  


Safety Planning Checklist

Creating a personal safety plan is a useful method to increase safety.

Before You Are Ready To Leave:

  • Establish a verbal code word with family and friends to identify when you are in trouble
  • Ask a neighbor to call the police if violence begins
  • Hide any weapons, if safe
  • Arrange for safety/care of pets  
  • Pack an “Escape Bag” with:
    • Driver’s License or photo identification
    • Birth Certificates for you and your children
    • Social Security cards for you and your children
    • EBT card, Medicaid, insurance cards, and Financial Information,
    • Checkbook, ATM card, etc.
    • Money, credit cards, bank books, etc.
    • Proof of income for self and partner
  • Legal Papers To Have With You:
    • Your Injunction for Protection (if you have one)
    • Lease, rental agreement, house deed
    • Car registration and insurance papers
    • Health and life insurance papers
    • Medical records for you & your children
    • Immigration papers
  • Other Important Items:
    • Names and addresses of family members
    • House, car and safety deposit box keys
    • Medicines and all prescriptions (extra)
    • Jewelry, glasses, dentures, contact lenses
    • Pictures of you, your children and your abusive partner
    • Change of clothes for you and your children (diaper bag, bottles, etc.)
    • Security blanket, favorite book and toy for your child
  • If you need help leaving an abusive relationship, call CASA's  24 hour hotline: