What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another partner.
Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions, or threats of actions, that influence another person.
Domestic violence includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Who is affected by domestic violence?
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.
Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.
Sexual Abuse: Forcing or attempting to force sexual contact or behavior on someone without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating someone in a sexually demeaning manner.
Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.
Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.
Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include – but are not limited to – causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused. It also affects family members, friends, co-workers and the community at large. Children who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life – therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.
Lighthouse Guild’s Behavioral Health programs are available to help victims, family members, friends and significant others of domestic abuse. If you are a member of GuildNet, talk to your Care Manager about services available to you.