“Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.” – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
In short, domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by abusers to control and intimidate their intimate partners. We often think of domestic violence in terms of physical violence committed against girlfriends and wives. The reality is that domestic violence comes in many forms, including physical violence, psychological/emotional abuse, stalking, sexual abuse, isolation, financial abuse, and more. Additionally, while the majority are women, victims of domestic violence come from all demographics; all genders, races, sexual orientations, religions, age groups, abilities/disabilities, socioeconomic backgrounds and more.
From the outside looking in, it can be difficult to understand why someone would stay in an abusive relationship. Also, it is important to remember that relationships rarely start out as abusive. In many cases, abusers seem amazing during the beginning stages of the relationship, which leads their partners to feel love and trust for them. Domestic violence often works in cycles, alternating between periods of intimacy and abuse, making it particularly difficult to break away. It is a deliberate, complex, and persistent system that the abusive partner intentionally uses to try and assert complete control and power.
Domestic violence affects victims and survivors in a number of ways, both during and after the relationship. Additionally, victims may suffer physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially, or in any other aspect of their lives that the abuser targeted. At Safe Connections, we empower survivors of domestic violence by connecting them to needed resources and providing the emotional support necessary to recover through our 24-hour Crisis Helpline and free counseling services.
Visit any of the resources below for more information about domestic violence: