What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence, sometimes called battering, relationship abuse, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Domestic violence is a crime that can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and sexual abuse.

Batterers use threats, intimidation, isolation, and other behaviors to maintain power over their victims. Domestic violence impacts everyone, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year (Lieberman Research, Inc., Tracking Survey conducted for The Advertising Council and the Fa mily Violence Prevention Fund, July-October 1996).

Domestic violence also affects same-sex relationships and men as victims.

If these experiences are happening to you, you might feel hopeless, desperate, confused, and alone. You may not want to tell people about your situation because you feel afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed.

You are not alone, and you can find help…

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