What is Domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. It often includes the threat or use of physical violence.
Domestic violence may include physical, emotional, sexual or economic abuse. Behaviors used to maintain power and control include intimidation, isolation and threats. They could also include the use of ‘male privilege’ and using children as a way to manipulate and control.
Acts of domestic violence generally fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Physical battering: physical attacks or aggressive behavior (range from bruising to murder)
- Sexual abuse: forced sexual intercourse, unwanted sexual activity
- Psychological battering: constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive passiveness, isolating the victim from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property.
We usually think of domestic violence as being a male batterer and a female victim but keep in mind that this is not always the case. A domestic violence batterer can be a male or a female. The victim of domestic violence can also be male or female.
Statistics show that 1 in 4 women have been, are currently involved in, or will be a victim of domestic violence. This leads us to understand that on a daily basis you may be working with or coming in contact with someone that does not feel safe in their own home. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of domestic violence.