Domestic violence is the physical, emotional, or sexual harm inflicted by one person on another, usually in a marriage, partner or dating relationship. Most cases involve abuse from men towards women, although women can inflict harm upon men as well. Domestic violence is used to gain control over another person. This type of violence can greatly affect the direct victim and any children or bystanders who witness the abuse.
Any hurtful or unwanted behavior inflicted upon you can be classified as abusive and there are ways to see the signs of domestic violence and get help. It is important to remember that domestic violence is not the fault of the victim. It is possible to be a survivor by relying on personal strength, courage and the help of others.
Statistics on Domestic Violence (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
- 25% of women have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime
- 85% of domestic violence victims are women
- An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner every year in the US.
- Females who are 20-24 are at greatest risk for nonfatal intimate partner violence.
- According to the U.S. Department of Justice 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.
Being afraid of your partner is the number one sign that you are in a domestic violence situation. It is helpful to ask yourself the questions below in order to get a clearer picture of what a violent relationship can look like. If you find that you feel most of the emotions listed below, you could be in a violent intimate partner relationship and at risk for greater harm.
Am I …
- Nervous about how my partner will act or react in certain situations?
- Afraid of my partner most of the time?
- Feeling like there is nothing I can do right for my partner?
- Feeling like I deserve to be mistreated and that it is my fault?
- Feeling helpless or emotionally numb?
- Always doing what my partner wants me to do, instead of what I want to do?
- Constantly making excuses for my partner’s behavior?
Does my partner …
- Threaten or yell at me and make me afraid for my safety?
- Prevent me from going to school or work?
- Show jealousy towards my other relationships including friends, family, and/or co-workers?
- Kick, hit, slap, push or physically harm me?
- Pressure me sexually to do things I don’t want to do?
- Not see me as a person, but as a piece of property?
- Intimidate me and make me stay even thought I don’t want to?