What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an epidemic. It affects people in every community – regardless of gender identity, age, economic status, race, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, or religion.

Types of Abuse

Abuse is a pattern of behaviors that one person uses to gain and maintain
power and control over another person.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is one tactic that an abuser may use to control another person and instill an environment of constant fear. Physical abuse may include hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, strangling, smothering, using or threatening to use weapons, shoving, interrupting your sleep, throwing things, destroying property, hurting or killing pets, and denying medical treatment.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual act or behavior. Sexual abuse is common in an abusive relationship, but it is not often talked about. Sexual abuse may include rape, molestation, sexual assault, physical restraint, creating an environment where the person is fearful to say no, reproductive coercion, denying protection, and forced prostitution.

Emotional/Verbal/Psychological Abuse

Emotional abuse (which is also referred to as verbal or psychological abuse) is defined as deliberate emotional harm or manipulation. Emotional abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse and is just as harmful as physical abuse. Emotional abuse may include constant put downs or criticisms, name calling, threats, isolation, gaslighting, yelling, threatening suicide, minimizing or blaming, exploiting privilege as a family member or caregiver, ridiculing cultural and/or personal values, using culture or religion to justify behaviors, and denying access to spiritual/traditional events.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is when an abusive person controls or limits another person’s access to financial resources. Financial abuse may include controlling an allowance, not allowing someone to have their own money, hiding family assets, running up debt, ruining credit, interfering with or getting someone fired from their job, and improper use of funds/property/assets/power of attorney.

Cultural/Identity/Spiritual Abuse

Cultural/identity/spiritual Abuse is when abusers use aspects of a victim's particular cultural identity to inflict suffering, or as a means of control. Cultural/identity/spiritual abuse may include isolating from community supports, threats of Outing, barring from religious or spiritual practices, forced participation in religious or spiritual practices, put downs, slurs, threats surrounding immigration status, denial of access to hormones, refusal to use correct pronouns or preferred name, misuse of religious texts to justify abusive behavior, and misuse of culture to justify abusive behavior.

Domestic Violence Statistics

  • According to the CDC, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
  • Over 43 million women and 38 million men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Studies indicate that in the LGBQ/T community, approximately 1 in 4 people will be abused by their partner.

Survivors of domestic violence experience a range of negative health outcomes, including emotional stress, psychological trauma, physical injury and death. We’re working to change that.

Concerned about your relationship or someone you love?

If you and/or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call our 24/7 hotline at 800-899-4000.