Webster's Dictionary defines it as 'exertion of physical force, vehement feeling, expression, coercion, infringement or constraint over another' person that the attacker knows. But what exactly does it mean and how do I know whether I am, or someone I care for is experiencing it?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior that includes the use of or threat of violence and intimidation in order to gain power and control over another person. Violence is not just about bruises and black eyes. Domestic Violence is not always perpetrated in male/female relationships; it can happen in same-sex relationships. Domestic violence also can occur in teen relationships. In a few cases, women can perpetrate violence against their male partners. Domestic Violence occurs in every country, every race, every religion, every class and salary bracket and in every neighborhood; even yours. Violence in the home does not just happen to the poor, minority folks on the 'wrong side of the tracks', as is so often portrayed. However, it is women who live in poverty who face the greatest challenges in leaving due to financial, educational, culture and language barriers.
Does someone you love ...
Yes, to any of those questions could mean that you are in a violent relationship. But you are not alone, you Do Not deserve it and you Do have options. (read on for further info.)
Just as their Victims, Domestic Violence offenders come in every race and physical size. They are from every country, educational level, occupational background, and religious group. Although there is no way to "pick out" an abuser from any other person on the street, there are some classic characteristics that can be common denominators.
If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy or unsafe relationship there is help and options of your choosing for you. You can keep yourself safe and end the cycle of violence. No one deserves to live their life in pain; you deserve to be safe in your own home or workplace or church or public place. You deserve to be safe in life. Knowledge is power, gather information and empower yourself so that you can make the best and safest decision for you and your family. The right information, at the right time can help you make the right decision for you-only you can make that decision.
If you are in immediate danger, please contact 911 first. The Toll-Free 24 Hour National Emergency Hotline 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) is always available and has advocates to assist you and provide information in more than 20 languages. There is a State Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Every State in the U.S. that can connect you with information, resources and connections to shelters, programs and services in your state. Please see the Resources page on this website for further information and hotlinks to other sites. If you or someone you know needs help, please get help somewhere. Reach out, there is information and assistance available for you.