What is Domestic Violence?
“Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior characterized by the domination and control of one person over another, usually an intimate partner, through physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual and/or economic abuse.”
Types of Abuse
Though abuse occurs in a variety of forms, the intent of the abuser is always the same: to control the victim through fear. An abuser does this by physically, sexually, verbally, emotionally, psychologically and economically abusing the victim.
The following are examples of the different types of abuse and are not an exhaustive list.
Physical Abuse: Hitting, Biting, Punching, Choking, Pushing, Slapping, Hair-Pulling
Sexual Abuse: Forcing a partner to have sex when he or she does not want to; Demanding that a partner perform or engage in sexual acts that he or she does not consent to; Degrading treatment
Verbal Abuse: Yelling, Swearing, Mocking, Constant Criticism, Name-Calling, Making Humiliating Remarks
Psychological Abuse: Making the victim think he or she is “crazy”; Denying that events ever happened
Isolation: Monitoring phone calls, emails, text messages; Preventing or making it difficult for the victim to see friends and family; Controlling where the victim goes; Cutting off the victim’s cell phone, Not allowing the victim access to the vehicle(s)
Coercion: Manipulating the victim, children and/or family members; Always insisting they are right; Making the victim feel guilty; Expecting sex or other things in return for cleaning, yard work, fixing the car, etc
Harassment: Following or stalking; Using GPS on cell phone or car to track whereabouts; Calling multiple times in a row until victim answers; Constantly checking up on the victim; Refusing to leave when asked
Economic Control: Refusing to pay bills; Leaving victim’s name off Real Estate or Car Titles in order to say things like, “This is MY house/car, etc” ; Refusing to give the victim money; Monitoring how much the victim spends; Not allowing the victim to work; Refusing to work and help support the family; Interfering with the victim’s job
Abusing Trust: Lying; Cheating; Withholding important information; Breaking promises; Being overly jealous
Threats and Intimidation: Threatening to harm the victim, children, family members, friends or pets; Keeping weapons and threatening to use them; Using physical size to intimidate; Yelling
Emotional Witholding: Not giving compliments; Not respecting the victim’s feelings, rights or opinions; Not expressing feelings
Destruction of Property: Punching walls; Throwing objects; Destroying personal property such as cell phones or computers; Abusing pets
Self-Harming Behaviors: Threatening or attempting suicide or other forms of self-harm; Abusing drugs and/or Alcohol; Reckless Driving
(from Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, www.mnadv.org)
Signs YOU may be a Victim of Domestic Violence:
Does your partner….
Verbally put you down, insult or threaten you?
Isolate you from friends and family?
Often follow you or harass you in person or by phone?
Lie to you and keep secrets?
Explode into a rage or attack you in person or by phone?
Neglect you, your feelings and your needs?
Choke, punch, slap, kick or hurt you?
Excuse himself after verbal/physical attack promising to stop?
If any of this sounds familiar, reach out and call Center for Abused Persons at 301-645-3336.