Domestic violence should not happen to anybody. Ever. Period.
But it does – and when it does, there is help. Maybe you have lived with abuse, maybe it happened just once; maybe you work or live next to someone who is being abused right now.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated, dating, friends or family.
Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), stalking and harassment. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.
The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs listed on the Battering Personalities or the Survival Signals.
ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, differing abilities, religion, education, employment, socio-economic or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.
If you are being abused, REMEMBER
- You are not alone
- It is not your fault
- Help is available