What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a serious problem faced by millions of people across the country. Unfortunately, many who are suffering from the debilitating impact of domestic violence fail to recognize the severity of their situation. They may feel isolated as family and friends also fail to recognize the warning signs. However, by understanding what constitutes domestic violence, victims and others in their life can be better prepared to seek and provide needed help.

Naturally, any form of physical or sexual abuse constitutes domestic violence. This includes shoving, slapping, pulling hair, biting, and even rape. Forcing someone to use drugs or alcohol against their will is also a form of physical abuse. Essentially, any physically harmful action falls under this category.

However, domestic violence also extends to emotional and psychological abuse. This could take the form of constantly criticizing someone to hurt their self-worth, or verbally threatening to commit acts of violence or destroy property. More severe forms of psychological abuse include isolating the victim from friends, work, or school. The abusive individual may also stalk their victim or limit their economic freedom.

Remember, intimate partners, children, and even roommates can be victims of domestic violence. By staying alert to these behaviors, you can better understand when you need to escape an abusive relationship—or when someone in your sphere of influence needs help.

If you, or someone you know needs assistance, don’t hesitate, call our 24-hour Crisis Hotline at (800)686.1122.