What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence, battering and spouse abuse) is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person to control another in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence includes physical, sexual, economic and/or verbal or emotional abuse.

Many women do not want to leave an abusive relationship – they just want the violence to stop. When a partner does leave, they are more likely to be injured or killed by their violent partner. Domestic violence often increases in frequency and severity over time.

Domestic violence is never ok. It is an issue that impacts every part of our community.  It cannot end unless we are all involved in working to stop intimate partner violence, end the silence, and support the people who have suffered or are suffering abuse.

Whether you are: a person surviving domestic violence currently, survived it in the past, concerned about someone you care about, worried about your own behavior, or just want to get involved in helping stop domestic violence—the information on these pages will be helpful to you.

Abuse Is:

  • Calling names or putting someone down
  • Controlling activities (monitoring phone calls, checking odometer, etc.)
  • Not allowing partner to work or forcing to work
  • Having his or her name on all the property/rental agreements
  • Not allowing partner to participate in their religious/spiritual practices
  • If citizenship/immigration status is not stable, s/he may threaten to have partner deported
  • Shouting, cursing or frightening/intimidating in other ways
  • Trapping, blocking or restraining
  • Hitting, slapping and/or pushing
  • Making threats of any kind
  • Jealously and suspicion
  • Keeping partner away from family and friends
  • Throwing objects
  • Forcing partner to abuse drugs or medication
  • Forced sexual contact and/or intercourse
  • Threatening to harm or kill partner or partner’s loved one(s)