Domestic violence (DV) is a pattern of abusive behavior used by the abuser to gain or maintain control over the victim. DV happens in all races, age groups, sexual orientations, religions, social classes, economic backgrounds and education levels. It can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships; between partners who are married, living together, dating or those who are no longer in a relationship together. It can happen to anyone, regardless of their gender identity.
It is when someone you love, such as a husband, girlfriend, partner (lesbian/gay/straight), or relative:
- Scares you
- Calls you names
- Breaks/hides your TTY/VP/phone/pager
- Controls your money
- Doesn’t let you visit your friends
- Breaks/hides your hearing aid or other devices
- Hits you
- Hits your children
- Kicks you
- Forces you to have sex; wants sex on demand
- Slaps you
- Shoves/pushes you
- Makes you feel helpless and/or hopeless
Remember, DV can take on a variety of forms: emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual. Check out this visual image of the various forms of DV: Violence Wheel.
Now, check out the Non-Violence Wheel to see what a healthy, equal, and violence-free relationship looks like. There are some huge differences!
Some outside resources: