What is Domestic Violence?

What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is usually defined as an abuse that occurs between husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. Often times it can be used to label abuse of a parent by child or child by the parent. It is violence or abuse in an intimate/close relationship. Many domestic violence agencies say that the following types of abuse are under the domestic violence category:

· name-calling or putdowns

· keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends

· withholding money

· stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job

· actual or threatened physical harm

· sexual assault

· stalking

· intimidation

All 50 states have some kind of legislation that punishes the aggressor in a domestic violence situation. If you are being abused or are an abuser, you should make yourself aware of the laws in your state protecting yourself or the person you are abusing. Both men and women can be victims of domestic violence, but the majority of victims are women and children. About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. (Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman's Lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women's Health, 1999) Even if the children in a domestic violence relationship aren’t having the abuse directed at them, they suffer the consequences as well. Many children who are or were in a home where domestic violence has taken place have behavioral and emotional problems.

Once abuse starts it rarely stops without some kind of intervention or the abused partner leaving. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE HIT, PUSHED, OR HURT IN ANYWAY FOR ANY REASON! There are other ways to deal with problems than resorting to physical violence. An abuser uses the above types of abuse for power and control.

If you are being abused, there is help out there to get you out of your situation. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and find the help you need!

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