What is domestic violence?
The willful intimidation, assault, battery, sexual assault, or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another.
Abusive behavior can be:
- Being sworn at, constantly criticized, demeaned, and threatened.
- Having your most valued beliefs, religion, race, heritage, or socio-economic class ridiculed or insulted.
- Having your friends or family insulted and/or driven away.
- Receiving the silent treatment or having affection withheld as punishment.
- Being manipulated with lies, contradictions, and broken promises.
- Being humiliated or having your feelings, or maybe even your presence, ignored.
- Having objects thrown at you
- Being hit, bitten, pushed, slapped, punched, and/or shoved.
- Being abandoned in dangerous places, or subjected to reckless driving.
- Forced engagement in sexual activity, sadistic acts, and/or other unwanted sexual acts.
- Being called sexual names like "whore" and "frigid."
- Being subjected to jealous accusations of having affairs with friends, coworkers, etc.
Leaving a relationship can be a hard decision under the best of circumstances. When there is abuse involved in the relationship, the decision can be even more difficult and confusing. Many people will try to hang in there and hope that things get better. Unfortunately, in most cases, things only get more serious without some intervention.
Possible barriers to getting help:
- Fear of violent retaliation or threats by the abusive partner.
- Fear of prejudice by law enforcement or medical institutions.
- Love for the abusive partner and belief that he or she can change.