What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic 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 does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence/abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship.
Warning Signs of Domestic Violence
It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.
In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.
Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partner.
Some of the signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who:
Tells you that you can never do anything right
Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away
Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members
Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs
Controls every penny spent in the household
Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses
Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you
Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do
Prevents you from making your own decisions
Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children
Prevents you from working or attending school
Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets
Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons
Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.