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Domestic Violence Information and Prevention  « Back

What is domestic violence?
What are some signs that a friend (family, etc) may be a vicitim of domestic violence?
What are the warning signs of an abuser?
How can I help my friend (family, etc.) who is in an abusive relationship?
Why don't victims just leave?

What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the actual or threatened physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse of an individual by someone with whom they have or had an intimate relationship (husband, girlfriend, roommate, parent, etc). Domestic violence is a choice; it is about power and control, not love and respect. Domestic violence occurs in all socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, age groups, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and cultures.

What are some signs that a friend (family, etc) may be a vicitim of domestic violence?
They worry that their partner will be jealous or suspicious
Their partner makes most of her/his decisions
Their partner criticizes them frequently or publicly shames them
They apologize frequently for their partner's behavior
They withdraw from family or friends
They change their clothing, hair, makeup in order to please their partner
They stop going to social activities 
Is frightened of and seems threatened when their partner is angry

What are the warning signs of an abuser?
Although no one can fully predict wheather or not a relationship will turn out to be abusive, some warning signs do exist. For more information see our Red Flags resource.

How can I help my friend (family, etc.) who is in an abusive relationship?
If you suspect that someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there are many things that you can do to help. Keep supporting that person, even if you feel that she does not want help. Making the decision to get help and possibly leave the relationship is a process that takes time. For more information see our What Can I Do to Help? resource.

 

Why don't victims just leave?
Although many victims do leave their partners who abuse, there are many potential consequences that make the desicion to leave a difficult one to make. These factors can be emotional, physical, cultural, or financial. For more information see our Why Leaving Isn't Easy resource.