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Domestic Violence

Domes­tic Vio­lence and Abuse

Signs of Abuse and Abu­sive Rela­tion­ships

Domes­tic vio­lence and abuse can hap­pen to any­one, yet the prob­lem is often over­looked, excused, or denied. This is espe­cial­ly true when the abuse is psy­cho­log­i­cal, rather than phys­i­cal. Notic­ing and acknowl­edg­ing the signs of an abu­sive rela­tion­ship is the first step to end­ing it. No one should live in fear of the per­son they love. If you rec­og­nize your­self or some­one you know in the fol­low­ing warn­ing signs and descrip­tions of abuse, reach out. There is help avail­able.

Under­stand­ing domes­tic vio­lence and abuse

Domes­tic abuse, also known as spousal abuse,occurs when one per­son in an inti­mate rela­tion­ship or mar­riage tries to dom­i­nate and con­trol the oth­er per­son. Domes­tic abuse that includes phys­i­cal vio­lence is called domes­tic vio­lence.

Domes­tic vio­lence and abuse are used for one pur­pose and one pur­pose only: to gain and main­tain total con­trol over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intim­i­da­tion to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threat­en you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Domes­tic vio­lence and abuse does not dis­crim­i­nate. It hap­pens among het­ero­sex­u­al cou­ples and in same-sex part­ner­ships. It occurs with­in all age ranges, eth­nic back­grounds, and eco­nom­ic lev­els. And while women are more com­mon­ly vic­tim­ized, men are also abused—especially ver­bal­ly and emo­tion­al­ly, although some­times even phys­i­cal­ly as well. The bot­tom line is that abu­sive behav­ior is nev­er accept­able, whether it’s com­ing from a man, a woman, a teenag­er, or an old­er adult. You deserve to feel val­ued, respect­ed, and safe.

Rec­og­niz­ing abuse is the first step to get­ting help

Domes­tic abuse often esca­lates from threats and ver­bal abuse to vio­lence. And while phys­i­cal injury may be the most obvi­ous dan­ger, the emo­tion­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­se­quences of domes­tic abuse are also severe. Emo­tion­al­ly abu­sive rela­tion­ships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anx­i­ety and depres­sion, and make you feel help­less and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to break­ing free is rec­og­niz­ing that your sit­u­a­tion is abu­sive. Once you acknowl­edge the real­i­ty of the abu­sive sit­u­a­tion, then you can get the help you need.

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