Women. Women everywhere are most often the victims of partner abuse. There is no ''typical'' type of woman prone to this kind of violence. Abuse knows no limits based on religious, ethnic, socioeconomic, or educational backgrounds. Women victims can be any age. The single thing they have in common is being female.
Children. Kids can be made to suffer all the various types of abuse. Kids who are not themselves battered but who see or hear domestic violence or live in a home where violence happens to a parent can be affected in different ways. Click here for more information on children and domestic violence
Teenagers. Teenagers who are the victims of domestic violence at home or who observe one of their parents being abused may start showing signs of risk-taking behavior. They may:
- use drugs or alcohol
- become sexually promiscuous
- commit crimes
And teenage girls and boys can suffer from violent relationship abuse just like adults-physically, sexually, emotionally, or financially. Dating violence is common: it occurs in more than 1 out of every 4 teenage relationships. This abuse is not the victim's fault. The abuser uses violence to solve problems, to show power and control over another.
Immigrants and Refugees. Immigrants and refugees can be vulnerable to abuse. They often feel isolated due to their language and cultural differences. A battered woman or man who is not a legal resident of this country or whose immigrant status depends on her/his violent partner may not feel safe finding another place to live or getting help from authorities.
People with Disabilities. Women and men with physical, psychiatric, and cognitive challenges experience domestic violence from their partners at a higher rate than the rest of the population. They also experience mistreatment, abuse, neglect, and exploitation from caretakers, personal assistants, paid staff, family members, and parents.
Elderly People. Older people, especially women, are nearly invisible to the rest of the world. They are uniquely vulnerable to domestic violence because they often still follow older traditions that did not recognize spousal abuse. They are many times bound financially to their abuser, which only increases their hopelessness. They too can experience mistreatment, abuse, neglect, and exploitation from caretakers, family members, and their own adult children.
Rural Women. Women living in rural areas or small towns experiencing domestic violence can face many obstacles in seeking relief. The great distance they may live from a domestic violence shelter or support agencies, exacerbated by a lack of public transportation on, can leave them isolated. Communication may be difficult and unreliable. In some rural communities, sexist, racist, misogynist, anti-semitic, and homophobic language and actions are more accepted. This creates an environment where hatred of differences is common.
Same Sex Partners. Batterers in same-sex relationship use physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse to gain and/or maintain power and control. The fear of homophobic and hostile law enforcement, judiciary, court, and medical and social service providers may stop lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other victims of same-sex violence from leaving the relationship or from seeking help.
Heterosexual Men. Straight men aren't immune from being victims of domestic violence. They face the same dynamics of violence as female victims do. They may also feel shame in seeking help, especially from law enforcement.