What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence (DV) or abuse involves intentional, repeated acts which cause physical or emotional harm, committed usually, by an intimate partner or an immediate family member which resides with the victim. Incidences of violence may be obvious such as hitting or strangling or threatening to harm. They may coerce a partner to things against their will, sexually or otherwise. Abuse may be more emotional such as gaslighting, calling a partner names, or yelling. A more subtle form of abuse is gradually causing isolation from friends and family, texting constantly, or calling to check up on a partner frequently. Even less violent behaviors are controlling and manipulative causing loss of self- esteem and confidence in their own thoughts and feelings. A victim may begin to question if they are crazy. These controlling behaviors are common in dating relationships in teens and young adults. Another type of abuse that can be physical or emotional is stalking behavior which creates fear in the victim and can lead to more serious harm. Abuse typically escalates over time becoming more intense and creating greater harm.
Everyone has the right to live in peace and not in fear. Abuse in the home has a rippling effect throughout the community as the model of abuse is passed down to the next generation. Violence in the community often can be associated with abuse that was experienced in the home.