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What Is Abuse?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.
Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.
Signs of Abuse
Anyone can be an abuser. They come from all groups, all cultures, all religions, all economic levels, and all backgrounds. They can be your neighbor, your pastor, your friend, your child's teacher, a relative, a coworker -- anyone. It is important to note that the majority of abusers are only violent with their current or past intimate partners. One study found 90% of abusers do not have criminal records and abusers are generally law-abiding outside the home.
Inflicting or attempting to inflict physical injury
Examples: grabbing, pinching, shoving, slapping, hitting, biting, arm- twisting, kicking, punching, hitting with blunt objects, stabbing, shooting
Withholding access to resources necessary to maintain health -
Examples: medication, medical care, wheelchair, food or fluids, sleep, hygienic assistance, forcing alcohol or other drug use
Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact without consent
example: marital rape, acquaintance rape, forced sex after physical beating, attacks on the sexual parts of the body, forced prostitution, fondling, sodomy, sex with others;
Attempting to undermine the victim’s sexuality-
example: treating him/her in a sexually derogatory manner, criticizing sexual performance and desirability, accusations of infidelity, withholding sex
Instilling or attempting to instill fear
example: intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, victim, and/or others, threatening to harm and/or kidnap children, menacing, blackmail, harassment, destruction of pets and property, mind games, stalking., isolating or attempting to isolate victim from friends, family, school, and/or work. Examples: withholding access to phone and/or transportation, undermining victim’s personal relationships, harassing others, constant “checking up,” constant accompaniment, use of unfounded accusations, forced imprisonment
Undermining or attempting to undermine victim's sense of worth
Examples: constant criticism, belittling victim’s abilities and competency, name-calling, insults, put-downs, silent treatment, manipulating victim’s feelings and emotions to induce guilt, subverting a partner’s relationship with the children, repeatedly making and breaking promises
Making or attempting to make the victim financially dependent -
Examples: maintaining total control over financial resources including victim’s earned income or resources received through public assistance or social security, withholding money and/or access to money, forbidding attendance at school, forbidding employment, on-the-job harassment, requiring accountability and justification for all money spent, forced welfare fraud, withholding information about family running up bills for which the victim is responsible for payment.
NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ABUSED
Please contact the Domestic Violence Response Team at 732-721-5600, Ext. 3620 with any questions or leave a message.
If you would like to volunteer with the Domestic Violence Response Team, click here for further information.