What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is when an intimate partner or former or current spouse intends to scare, control, or cause harm to their partner. Most people associate this violence with physical abuse, but it can be psychological as well. The perpetrator will use things to gain emotional leverage such as children, pets, and other family members. With this in mind, domestic violence affects people differently. In court cases of domestic violence, the defendant is usually charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Different Types of Domestic Violence
- Sexual Abuse: Using physical or verbal behavior to sexually assault, exploit, or force themself upon another person.
- Emotional Abuse: When a person uses degradation, intimidation, brainwashing, manipulation, and other behaviors to exploit someone’s character, vulnerability, and insecurity.
- Verbal Abuse: Using verbal language to embarrass, degrade, and threaten the victim. For example, a person may threaten to hurt another that they’re in a relationship with.
- Physical Abuse: This abuse occurs when someone uses physically aggressive behavior, threatens to use physical harm, withholds physical needs, or indirectly causes physical harm.
- Control: When someone uses abusive behavior to control their victim. An example of this is someone monitoring their partner’s phone calls.
- Isolation: Using certain behaviors to make another feel isolated from the world. This includes not letting someone see friends and family, controlling how another thinks and feels, and forcing someone to participate in activities they do not want to do.
- Economic Abuse: Using financial resources and income to manipulate another. For example, a person not allowing their partner access to their money without their consent.
Signs Someone Is The Victim Of An Abusive Relationship
- Physical Signs:
- Bruises on the arms and neck.
- Black eye.
- Busted lip.
- Sprained or broken body parts.
- Emotional Signs:
- They are meek, shy, and apologetic.
- Have low self-esteem.
- Little to no interest in family, friends, and activities they enjoy.
- Drug and alcohol addiction.
- They let their partner make decisions for them.
How To Prevent Domestic Violence
- Be Aware Of The Signs
The first way to prevent domestic violence is by recognizing the signs. Not just the signs that someone is a victim, but the signs someone is an abuser.
- Don’t Ignore Abusive Behavior If You Witness It
Don’t shut your eyes to abusive behavior happening around you just because you’re scared. As a member of your community, it’s your job to help those being abused and report it to the proper authorities.
- Help People You Know With Abusive Partners
If someone you know is in an abusive relationship, help them out. Try to talk to them about what’s going on, and provide them with assistance if they are trying to get out of their relationship.
- Write Down Abuse Incidents
If you witness someone you know abusing another or being abused, write down what you witness. Names, date, time, location, and what happened. Down the road, if the abuser gets accused of a crime, this evidence could be used to incriminate them or provide motive.
- Create A Safety Plan
If a friend or family member is looking to leave an abusive relationship, help them create a safety plan. Where will they go after they leave? What will they bring when they leave? For reference, use this safety plan.
How To Report Domestic Violence
- Talk To Your Local Authorities
If you are the victim of domestic violence or witness such actions, you should report it to your local police. For victims, even though the situation is very emotional, try to be straightforward with authorities. What happened specifically to make you come forward?
- Visit Your Local Crisis Center
If you don’t have anyone in your life to help you navigate your abusive relationship, visiting your local domestic violence crisis center. There are centers all over the United States there to help victims navigate the troubles they’re facing, find shelter, and help ensure positivity in their life. By using this site, you can search for centers and shelters near you.
- Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline
To seek assistance over the phone, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800)-799-7233. They can help you through abusive emotional and safety problems you are facing. They also can assist with legal action and finding a safe place for you and your pets.
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*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.