What is Abuse?
What is Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence is a set of behaviors used by one person to maintain power and control over another in an intimate relationship. It is used interchangeably with intimate partner violence. It can incorporate many types of abuse such as emotional, physical, sexual and economical. Partners may be of any sexual orientation, living together, separated, or dating. Many abusers often utilize more than one type of abuse. The boundaries between some of these behaviors may overlap.
Who are the Victims of Domestic Violence?
ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! They may be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. It is a problem that impacts not just individuals, but entire communities across the globe.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Its aim is usually to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. As the victim of emotional abuse one may feel there is no way out of the relationship. The abuser may use intimidation, manipulation, isolation, privilege, coercion and threats, amongst other tactics to project the illusion that without them there is no hope.
Abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often use threats of physical violence. One may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, but the scars of emotional abuse can be long lasting, often times deeply impacting the survivor, their loved ones, and the community. Emotional abuse can even be more damaging than physical abuse often escalating to physical battery.
Assault with a Weapon
Sexual violence is common in abusive relationships. Any situation in which one is forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Women whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.
Economic or Financial Abuse
An abuser’s goal is usually to control the survivor and they will often use any means necessary to accomplish this. In addition to hurting an individual emotionally and physically, an abusive partner may also negatively impact a survivor’s finances.
Economic or financial abuse includes:
- Controlling the finances
- Withholding money or credit cards
- Giving an allowance
- Accounting a survivor for every penny spent
- Exploiting your assets for personal gain
- Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter)
- Preventing a survivor from working or choosing their own career
- Sabotaging the workplace (missing work, showing up to work, calling constantly)
I truly am grateful for all your hard work making sure survivors have a safe place. Thank you.
Thank you for calming me down and listening. I have been living with this violence for over 10 years and have never told anyone. You made my heart smile today. Thank you for caring.