What is domestic violence? Domestic violence can be explained as negative behavior such as violence or threatening violence, causing fear, and intimidation used to gain power and control over a person with whom someone is on intimate terms. In other words, if someone you are living with threatens you, intimidates you, hurts you, or makes you feel afraid that he/she will, then you are experiencing domestic violence.
Whose fault is it? Domestic violence is always the fault of the abuser! It is not your fault! Batterers often try to make you feel that you are to blame for their behavior toward you. You might even think that if you try to change and be more like what he/she wants, then the abuse will stop. Or you may think that you will be able to make your partner change his/her behavior. Neither is true. Batterers choose to be batterers. They alone are responsible for their actions.
Is domestic violence always physical? No, abuse can take several forms, often in the same relationship. It can be sexual, emotional, and/or financial, in addition to physically violent. Click here for information on 4 types of abuse.
How do I know if I'm in an abusive relationship? There are some very real, concrete signs that the relationship you may be in is abusive or on its way to becoming abusive. And please keep in mind that abusers' behavior toward their victims only gets worse with time. Click here for information on warning signs.
How can I protect myself from my abusive partner? Begin by developing a safety plan. Click here for information on a safety plan that lists actions you can take before, during, and after an abusive situation occurs.
Who can be victims of domestic violence? In all cultures in the world, women are the most likely victims of domestic violence. However, kids, teenagers, immigrants, people with disabilities, same sex partners, and heterosexual men can also be victims. Click here for more information.
What are some of the myths associated with domestic violence? Women prefer men who treat them badly? Abusers are simply immature? Batterers and their victims are uneducated, blue-collar, and lowerclass? Click here to separate reality from myth.