What is Domestic Abuse?

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior used to maintain power and control over another person, creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated, or dating. Domestic abuse can also occur in parent-child or other family relationships.

Some examples of abuse include:

  • Name-calling or public putdowns; humiliation
  • Actual or threatened violence
  • Controlling or withholding money
  • Monitoring daily activity
  • Limiting contact with family or friends
  • Threatening to take children away
  • Preventing a partner from working; harassing a partner at work
  • Treating partner as a servant or dependent
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Other forms of intimidation

Domestic abuse can take many forms and can happen all the time, occasionally or just once in a while. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, and other forms of manipulation and intimidation; it can also be criminal, including actions such as sexual assault, physical assault, and stalking.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. victims can be of any gender, age, race, religion, culture, education level or socio-economic status, or marital status. Domestic abuse victims can be successful professionals or stay-at-home parents; there is no boundary that domestic violence can't cross.

Children in homes where domestic abuse is present are far more likely to themselves be abused and/or neglected. Children who are not physically harmed are still likely to be psychologically harmed, resulting in emotional disturbance and behavior challenges.