What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is violence that occurs in intimate relationships. It is most often experienced in families. Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors that batterers use to scare and create a feeling of fear in their victims. The pattern of behaviors are not because the batterer is angry. The pattern of behaviors are not because the batterer uses drugs or alcohol. The pattern of behaviors are not the victim's fault.

The use of physical violence is part of the overall pattern of behaviors. Batterers use physical violence to make their victims do what batterers want. Most often, the batterer wants the victim to comply with the batterer's rules. These rules may include:

  •  Who gets to make the rules of the relationship
  •  How men and women are required to behave
  •  How the household is maintained
  •  Who decides where and how the money is spent
  •  Who gets access to phones, keys and transportation

These are examples of the range and content of rules created by batterers to establish, maintain, demonstrate or re-assert their right to have complete power and control over their victims. Batterers create and enforce rules for their victims that are important to them. The rules change as the circumstances change. (For more information please see Hart, Barbara J. Batterer Rules).

Examples of Domestic Violence ‚Äč

  Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

  1. A push for a quick relationship
  2. Jealous and possessive
  3. Tries to control your life
  4. Unrealistic expectations
  5. Isolates you from friends and family
  6. Blames others for their problems and mistakes
  7. Makes everyone else responsible for their feelings
  8. Says their feelings are easily hurt
  9. Cruel to animals and children
  10. Use of force during sex
  11. Yells and calls you names
  12. Sudden mood swings
  13. Rigid sex roles
  14. History of battering
  15. Threats of violence
  16. Threatens to reveal personal or damaging information about you to your family or employer

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