Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors to establish power and control over an intimate partner through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Partners may be married or not; straight, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating. It can include physical, sexual, psychological attacks and economic control.
Examples of abuse include:
- Isolation – controlling your activities, not allowing you to see family or friends, not allowing you to go anywhere alone or becoming very angry when you do.
- Threats – to leave you, harm you, commit suicide, take the children, kill you, or intimidate through looks and gestures, destroy your personal property or pets.
- Verbal and Emotional Abuse – put-downs, playing mind games, name calling, minimizing your feelings, blaming you, humiliating you, extreme jealousy, making you feel unworthy or accusations of infidelity.
- Physical and Sexual Abuse – hits, shoves, pushes you (or your children when they try to help you), kicks, strangles, forces sex and makes you do things you are not comfortable with, jokes about affairs, withholds affection.
- Economic Abuse – not allowing you access to money, making you work or making you stay home
Abuse can be criminal, such as physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can escalate to criminal violence.
Predominant aggressor means the main abusive partner of the relationship. To identify predominant aggressor you must take into account past history of abuse, the likelihood of inflicting future injuries, and possibility that one person was not acting in self-defense.
Anyone Can Be A Victim
Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, 97% of victims are female. Children in homes with domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavioral problems.
If you are being abused, REMEMBER:
1. You are not alone.
2. It is not your fault.
3. Help is available.
Your Rights as a Victim
Domestic Violence is a crime. You have rights as a victim under the Victims Rights Act and can apply for Crime Victims Compensation. We can help you obtain and file applications through the District Attorney’s office. Contact us to learn more about your rights as a victim and victim compensation.
Domestic violence should never happen to anybody – there is no excuse for domestic violence.
Maybe you have lived with abuse, maybe it happened just once; maybe you work or live next to someone who is being abused right now.
Whoever you are, AADA can show you how and where to get help.Contact Us.