Domestic Violence (Intimate Partner Violence)

Domestic violence (Intimate Partner Violence) is a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors that one person uses against another in order to gain or maintain power and control in the relationship. The abuser intentionally behaves in ways that cause fear, degradation and humiliation to control the other person. Domestic violence/intimate partner violence can be physical, sexual, threatening or emotional and it’s purpose is to frighten, intimidate and control an intimate partner. Abuse often escalates and may become worse with time. Domestic violence/intimate partner violence does not discriminate and occurs among heterosexual or same-sex couples and within all socio-demographics.

It’s Not Your Fault

“Abused” describes what has happened to you – not who you are. You are a SURVIVOR. The truth is that many people in abusive relationships have great inner strength and are often there for others, including children. No matter what a controlling or abusive partner tells you (“If you had done this right, I would not have hurt you”), being abused is NEVER your fault – the person who chooses to be controlling and violence is responsible. And power and control is a choice. So is health and equality. You deserve safety, love, and equality. Partner violence is not acceptable and it is not something you have to deal with alone. We understand and are here to empower.

The Statistics

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
  • Domestic violence is most common among women between the ages of 18-24.
  • Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of abusive relationships.

How You Might Feel:

  • Feelings of anxiety, fear, exhaustion, depression, and/or anger may occur.
  • These feelings are normal reactions to being stalked. You can improve your ability to cope by documenting the events, taking safety measures, seeking legal help and getting support from friends and Women Helping Women.
  • The survivor tries to bargain with the stalker to stop the behavior.
  • The survivor may blame herself/himself.