What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence (DV) can be defined as any pattern of behavior employed by a current or former spouse, intimate partner, or date including physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, sexual violence, harassment, stalking, or financial control in order to coerce, control, or isolate another within a current or former opposite sex or same sex relationship.
Does DV happen very much?
Yes. According to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, between two and four million women annually are victimized by DV. Further, over half of the women visiting medical emergency rooms report at least one incident of intimate violence during their lifetime. Clearly, DV is being reported in epidemic proportions.
MYTH: All women and men who batter are big, mean, and ugly.
TRUTH: Women and men of all races, classes, cultures, and appearances have used or experienced abusive and controlling behaviors within their relationships.
MYTH: I must be the only person with this problem.
TRUTH: Battering is a widespread problem of epidemic proportions.
MYTH: If I (the abuser) wasn't physically violent, then it's not really abusive.
TRUTH: DV includes verbal, psychological, financial, and physical abuse.
I am not sure I am being abused; how do I know?
You are abused if...
What can be done about DV?
First, know what DV is. DV is any pattern of behavior including physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, sexual violence, harassment, stalking or financial control employed by a current or former spouse, intimate partner, or date in order to coerce, control, or isolate another within a current or former relationship. Second, develop a Safety Plan. In a safe place, unknown to the batterer, set aside keys, emergency money, phone numbers (relatives, crisis lines, emergency services), and documents (passports, drivers license, checkbook, insurance). Know how to get out of your home safely and quickly. Plan beforehand where you will go. Call 911. If you are currently being battered, or someone you know is, call right away for help. DV is a crime, NOT a "private family matter." Next, exercise your legal rights. Seek protective orders if available. Seek custody of children and/or dependent elders. Seek legal counsel (call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, for TDD call 800-787-3224). Finally, get help. Services are available for both victims and perpetrators of DV.
Where do I seek help?
National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233)
Counseling and Career Services (256-782-5475)
Is there anything else to know about DV?
Yes. Always remember the following:
Courtesy of California State University, Hayward