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What is Domestic Violence?

Definition

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive control that one person exercises over another.

Understanding the Full Spectrum of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, from any background. It doesn’t discriminate based on age, race, sexual orientation, income, education, ability, or gender—anyone can suffer from abuse, at any time.

While physical abuse might be the first thing that comes to mind when one hears the term “domestic violence,” an abusive partner may try to exert control in a number of other ways. This can include verbal abuse, social isolation, and exerting control over finances. Remember that domestic violence is about power; its purpose is for the abuser to control the victim in whatever form(s) it takes, through whatever means it takes.

Read more about the different types of abuse below.

Abuse Comes in Many Forms

Domestic violence is all about power—abusers exert control over their partners in whatever form they can. While physical violence may be the first thing that comes to mind when one pictures domestic violence, abusers exert their control in many other ways. Below are some of the forms in which this abuse can take place.

If you think your interactions with your partner might be abusive, look below to take a short quiz. The questions and your answers might help you determine if you need to seek help for an abusive relationship.

Are You Experiencing Abuse?

If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, your relationship may be abusive.

If you want to talk to someone about your relationship call:

(800)799-7233

National Domestic Violence Hotline

La Línea Nacional sobre Violencia Doméstica

TTY (800) 787-3224

Though the cost to society pales in comparison to the individual cost, it’s important to note that the effects of domestic violence extend far beyond the homes in which it occurs. Read more about the societal impacts of domestic violence by clicking the button below.

Impacts to Society

The Full Cost Extends Beyond the Individual

Though the cost to society might pale in comparison to an individual’s traumatic experience, it’s important to note that the effects of domestic violence extend far beyond the homes in which it occurs.

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