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Domestic Violence 101


What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors through the use of power and control tactics used by one person over another in an intimate relationship. Partners may be dating, married or not married; separated; heterosexual, gay, lesbian, living together or not living together. Such abusive behaviors can include pushing, shoving, slapping, throwing objects; strangling, isolating you from your loved ones; being called names and threatening to hurt you. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, crossing all boundaries of culture, age, race, sex, education, and socioeconomic status. No one deserves to be abused, no matter what the circumstances.

Types of Abuse



Slapping, hitting, punching, choking/strangling, threatening with weapon, hair pulling, biting, burning with cigarettes, throwing down stairs, pushing out of a car, blocking your entrance or exit, pushing, tripping, restraining.


Name-calling, yelling, belittling, using put downs, constant blaming and criticizing, threatening to kill you, a friend, family member or pet, giving you the "silent treatment," accusing you of having affairs, not permitting you to use the phone, embarrassing you in front of others, bragging about infidelity, forcing you to stay in the house or locking you out of the house, harming pets, threatening or attempting suicide, monitoring your behavior.


Rape, forcing sex with partner's friends, forbidding birth control, forcing distasteful sex acts on you, beating if sex is refused.

Power and Control

Domestic violence is not about anger management but the need to have Power and Control over another person. The Power and Control Wheel shows different tactics abusers use to exert Power and Control over their victim.

Cycle of Abuse

While every relationship is unique, in many there is a Cycle of Violence that occurs.


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