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DV 101

 


Domestic violence crosses all age, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and educational boundaries. There are doctors, ministers, psychologists, police, attorneys, judges, and other professionals who beat their wives. Battering also occurs in lesbian and gay male relationships.

Domestic violence is virtually impossible to measure with absolute precision due to numerous complications including the societal stigma that inhibits victims from disclosing their abuse and the varying definitions of abuse used from study to study. Estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend per year to 3.9 million women who are physically abused per year. Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.


Dynamics of Domestic Violence

How do you know if you might be in an abusive relationship? 


Abusive relationships can be defined as a relationship in which one partner shows a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors toward the other partner. This includes couples who are married or unmarried, gay or straight. Types of abuse can include physical, emotional, social, economic, and sexual.


Does your intimate partner...

Insult or drive away your friends or family
Continually criticize you, call you names, shout at you
Ignore your feelings
Use lies and contradictions to manipulate you
Humiliate you in private or public; refuse to socialize with you 
Mock or insult your personal beliefs, religion, race, or heritage
Regularly threaten to leave, or tell you to leave
Threaten to get custody of the children
Threaten to kidnap the children
Abandon you in dangerous places
Drive recklessly or force you to drive recklessly
Hide or take away your car keys
Lock you out of your house or apartment
Prevent you from taking medication, eating, using the bathroom
Refuse to help you when you are sick, injured, or pregnant
Threaten to or abuse your loved ones
Threaten to or abuse your pets
Demand that you account for your daily activities, expenses, travel
Use a hidden tape recorder or camera to spy on you
Stalk you either physically or through e-mail or repeated phone calls
Check your mail, answering machine, caller ID, email
Insist you dress in a more sexual way than you want
Minimize the importance of your feelings about sex
Become jealously angry, accuse you of sexual activity with others
Insist that you perform sexual acts which make you uncomfortable
Force you to have sex
Forbid you to use protection against sexually transmitted diseases
Forbid you to use birth control
Force you to have sex with others, or force you to watch others having sex
Videotape you during sex
Pressure you to view or read pornography
Force you to incur debt or ruin your credit
Control your money
Hide income, bank accounts or investments
Gamble, borrow money that forces you into debt
Refuse to pay family bills
Force you to sign fraudulent claims, checks, tax returns
Threaten to call your employer and lie about your mental health or personal history
Forbid you to work, go to school, accept a promotion
Force you to regularly be late to work, absent, or leave work early
Corner you, push you, throw you down
Throw things at you
Pull your hair
Slap or grab you
Scratch or bite you
Kick or punch you
Choke you
Threaten to use or use a weapon against you
Inflict any type of physical abuse during pregnancy
Deny or prevent your access to necessary medical attention.


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