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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of hurtful behavior used by one person to systematically control and overpower the other.  There are varying forms of domestic violence and though the causal nature may be the same, the manifestation of it can look different in various relationships. Below is a list of the most common forms of domestic violence.  If any of this occurs in your relationship or that of someone you know, we encourage you to call PADV so that we can assist in safety planning.  No one deserves to be abused and victims are not responsible for the abuser's behavior.

Economic Abuse

Economic abuse is the purposeful controlling of resources to make the victim financially limited. It can include:

  • Refusing to give you money for necessities
  • Making you ask for money rather than allowing you continual access
  • Forcing you to turn over money you've earned or spend it in a way that you disagree with
  • Refusing to support your children
  • Not letting you be involved in money decisions that affect you and/or your children
  • Interfering with or preventing your opportunities for education, job training, and the ability to find and keep a job
  • Interfering with your work performance through harassing activities, such as frequent phone calls or unannounced visits
  • Stealing from you, defrauding your money or assets, and/or exploiting your financial resources or property
  • Requiring you to use your credit in a way that you disagree with

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury, or harm. It can include, but is not limited to:

  • Pushing, hitting, choking, kicking, biting, cutting, burning, spitting, shaking, slapping, pinching, force-feeding
  • Holding you down or preventing you from leaving the room
  • Throwing objects at you
  • Threatening you with a weapon
  • Locking you in or out of the house
  • Abandoning you in dangerous places
  • Preventing you from getting sleep or waking you up out of sleep
  • Denying help when you are sick, injured, or pregnant
  • Endangering you by driving wildly or recklessly

Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally, and/or to exert control over another person.  It can include:

  • Expressive Aggression
    • Name-calling
    • Putting you down by telling you that you’re stupid, dumb, fat, ugly, etc.
    • Intentionally humiliating you
    • Making fun of your beliefs
    • Degrading women as a group
    • Constantly criticizing you
    • Threatening to take your children
    • Threatening to sexually assault you
    • Threatening to hurt your family
    • Threatening to leave or make you leave
    • Making fun of your friends and family
    • Hurting your pets to upset you
    • Hurting your children to upset you
    • Ignoring your feelings
  • Coercive Control
    • Limiting your access to transportation, money, friends, and family
    • Excessively monitoring your whereabouts
    • Refusing to use birth control
    • Insisting upon pregnancy termination
  • Exploitation
    • Leveraging your vulnerabilities, such as illegal immigration status, disability, etc.
  • Manipulation
    • Presenting false information to make you doubt your own memory or perception
    • Presenting false information to mislead others about you

Sexual Abuse

Sexual violence is any sort of non-consensual sexual contact.  It can include any of the following acts--whether merely attempted or fully completed.  These acts also qualify as sexual abuse if the victim is not entirely aware due to being voluntarily or involuntarily intoxicated or drugged:

  • Unwanted Penetration
    • Forcing you to have sex when you do not want to, whether with your partner or someone outside of the relationship
    • Forcing you to have sex after an argument or beating
    • Forcing you to have sex when you are pregnant or sick
  • Unwanted Sexual Experiences (with or without contact)
    • Unwanted exposure to sexual situations, such as pornography
    • Verbal or behavioral sexual harassment
    • Threatening sexual violence to accomplish some other end
    • Unwanted filming or photographing
    • Disseminating video or photographs of a sexual nature of another person
    • Criticizing the way you act during sex
    • Withholding sex and affection
    • Refusing to pay bills or take care of other basic needs until you have sex with him/her
    • Calling you a “whore” or any other demeaning name after sex
    • Accusing you of having sex with other women/men
    • Telling you and bragging about sex with other women/men
    • Checking your clothing for signs that you have had sex with someone
    • Insisting on unwanted or uncomfortable touching