Domestic Violence: What You Need To Know

Every year, one in three women around the world are victims of domestic violence. Although many women agree that we need to devote more attention and money to domestic violence education, prevention, and treatment, victims of domestic violence are often afraid to seek help. Here’s some general information about domestic violence, as well as information about how to get help if you are experiencing abuse.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic violence as “a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power or control over an intimate partner.” Although we most often think of abuse as physical, it can be emotional, sexual, monetary, or psychological. In addition to being injured or killed, these types of abuse can make a victim feel scared, intimidated, powerless, manipulated, embarrassed, or insulted.

Domestic violence is blind to race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, relationship type, and socioeconomic level. Although rates of domestic violence vary by demographic, anyone can be a victim.

If you believe you might be a victim of domestic violence or abuse, ask yourself if your partner has:

  • Damaged any property while angry.
  • Pushed, slapped, kicked, hit, choked, or bitten you.
  • Called you names, insulted you, or humiliated you.
  • Punished you with a lack of affection.
  • Forced you to leave home or forced you to stay at home.
  • Threatened to hurt or has hurt you, your children, or your family members in any way.
  • Attempted to use a weapon against you.
  • Forced or manipulated you into having sex or performing intimate acts.
  • Attempted to dictate the way you dress.
  • Accused you of cheating.
  • Used a weapon to hurt you, during sex or otherwise.

Victims of domestic violence should know that they are not alone. There are many ways to get help:

  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
  • Email the National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Deaf victims of domestic violence can receive specialized help Monday-Friday, between 9AM and 5PM:
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