What is Domestic Abuse?
"Domestic violence (also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), dating abuse, or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.
Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. People of any race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, education level, or economic status can be a victim — or perpetrator — of domestic violence. That includes behaviors that physically harm, intimidate, manipulate or control a partner, or otherwise force them to behave in ways they don’t want to, including through physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, or financial control." - National Domestic Violence Hotline
Everyone Deserves a Healthy Relationship
Domestic abuse can involve any of the following - it is not always physical:
Controlling behavior: says who you can see and what you can do
Extreme jealousy: may accuse you of having affairs, may act like they own you - and this 'ownership' may increase after significant events i.e. you commit to each other, move in together, get pregnant, etc.
Promises to stop abusing: after abuse, is sorry & sweet for a while. This "honeymoon" is often followed by tension and more abuse.
Says you cause the abuse: tries to make you think you said something you did not
Blames abuse on drinking or drug use. Blames you for everything.
How you can Help
Helpful Words & Phrases
- What is this like for you?
- It's not your fault, no matter what you have done.
- You're in a tough situation.
- You're a strong person.
- You are not alone.
- Repeat helpful words like "It's not your fault", or "You're a strong person".
- It can take a few times for all of us to hear positive messages!
**Remember, most people who are abused do not leave - at least not right away. But you can still help. For more information, emergency shelter, resources or just to talk, see our Need Help page.**
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