WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions, or threats of actions, that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.
Domestic violence/ intimate partner violence knows no boundaries. It occurs in every culture, country, and age group. It affects people from all socioeconomic, educational, and religious backgrounds. It is experienced across sexual identities and gender expressions, in same-sex, opposite-sex, and asexual relationships. Children are also affected, even if they are not abused or do not witness abuse directly.
DEFINITIONS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE / INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
DV / IPV is a learned behavior
DV / IPV is a pattern of abusive behavior in an intimate relationship where one partner tries to control and dominate the other
DV / IPV is fluid. It occurs over time, not as a single event or an isolated incident
DV / IPV is intentional. It happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another
The pattern of DV / IPV can include behaviors that appear both positive and negative
DV / IPV will escalate over time. Abuse can happen at a very slow pace
DYNAMICS OF POWER AND CONTROL
Abuser behaviors may be physically, emotionally, sexually and financially controlling with the victim left feeling scared, confused, dependent and insecure.
Abusers actively work to change their victim’s behavior. When a victim doesn’t do what an abuser wants, the abuser will punish the victim. The victim will change their behavior to avoid punishment and accommodate the abuser.
BEHAVIORS OF AN ABUSER
Coercion & threats
Intimidation & insults
Minimizing, denying, blaming
Distortions & manipulation
Entitlement - using identity privilege
Using children and/or pets