Domestic abuse is
a pattern of coercive behavior used to establish power and control
person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or
use of violence. The most common acts of domestic violence generally
fall into one or more or of the following categories:
Physical battering - The abuser's physical attacks or aggressive
behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what
is excused as trivial contacts that escalate into more frequent and
serious attacks. Physical abuse can be grabbing, pinching, shoving,
slapping, hitting, hair pulling, biting, arm twisting, kicking, punching,
hitting with objects, stabbing, and shooting. Batterers have even kept
their victims hostage by not allowing them to take necessary medications,
have medical care, the use of a wheelchair, food, fluids, sleep and
hygienic needs. The abuser can also force the victim to use drugs or
Emotional Abuse - The batterer tears down the victim's
sense of self-worth by continual criticism, name calling, saying things
are meant to be cruel and hurtful, running down her accomplishments,
giving her the silent treatment, making and breaking promises. Telling
her she's stupid and not able to function without him. He will
question her about who she talks to, accuse her of flirting, or be
jealous of time she spends with family, friend or children.
Sexual abuse - Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by,
or culminates in, sexual violence wherein the victim is forced to have
sexual intercourse with the abuser or take part in unwanted sexual
activity. Also includes beating of the sexual parts of the body, prostitution,
sodomy, sex with other people, or the use of pornography. Accusations
of infidelity. Rape within a marriage is illegal.
Psychological battering - The abuser's psychological or mental
violence attempts to frighten the victim by constant verbal abuse,
harassment, excessive possessiveness isolating the woman from friends
and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction
of personal property. Threats to harm her or others, harassing or even
killing pets. He also could threaten to kidnap her or the children.
Legal Abuse - The abuser might show control by burdening his victim
through a custody battle or a costly court case which will leave her
with exorbitant bills to pay.
Economic Abuse - The batterer tries to make the victim totally dependent
upon him, controlling money, requires her to keep an account of all
money spent, keeping watch over the victim so that she has no outside
activities, or harassing her at work.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE!! Domestic violence does not stop. It
usually gets worse. Domestic violence is a crime and it is never your
fault. If you are a victim of domestic violence, protect yourself and
your family and get help.