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What is Domestic Violence?


Domestic violence is a system of power and control over an intimate partner. It includes any and all forms of abuse.


Physical Abuse

 Sexual Abuse

Forcing or coercing a sexual activity that is not wanted or consented to (rape, oral sex, anal sex).  Forced prostitution.  Repeated accusations of sexual activity with others, i.e., calling partner whore or slut.

 Emotional Abuse

 Intimidation – putting the victim in fear by using looks, actions, gestures, loud voice, destroying property.  Isolation – controlling what the victim does, who the victim sees and talks to and where the victim goes.  Name-calling, mind games.

 Verbal Abuse

 Name calling (stupid, dumb, fat, etc.)

 Financial Abuse

 Controlling all money does not allow victim to work, does not give victim money

 Other Signs


Statistics: According to estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey, there were nearly 700,000 nonfatal violence victimizations committed by current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends of the victims during 2001. Out of this number, 85% were crimes against women. (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, March 1998).


  Cycle of Violence Phases


Phase I – Tension Building

Phase II – Incident

Phase III – Reconciliation

Phase IV – Calmness, Honeymoon Stage


During the Cycle of Violence, duration of each phase may vary depending on the individual perpetrator and his or her history with being violent.

 Tension Building – This step includes the gradual increase in tension through arguments, isolation, blaming and manipulation. The abuser will use events during this period to blame the partner for “causing” the abuse and ends with tension. Often victims say it is like “walking on eggshells.”

 Incident – This could be a verbal, physical, etc.

 Reconciliation – The abuser begins to feel sorry for what he/she did and starts to show remorse and promises to change. The abuser goes out and gets gifts or flowers and brings them back to give to his/her partner.

 Calmness – Honeymoon, forgot about the abuse 


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