What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another in a relationship. Valley Crisis Center works with victims/survivors of intimate partner abuse, where the abuser is an intimate partner such as a spouse or ex-spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, and/or ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is where one partner exerts control over the other partner. Abuse can be emotional such as name calling, mental abuse such as making the victim/survivor feel worthless, financial abuse such as preventing the victim/survivor from working or monitoring spending down to the last cent, and physical abuse where the partner physically harms the victim/survivor. Sexual violence can also be a part of Domestic Violence, such as forcing the other partner to have sex with the abuser.
Domestic Violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Often victims/survivors minimize the abuse, giving excuses or reasons why the abuser acts the way they do, do you:
- Explain their jealousy or possessiveness as being over protective?
- Explain why they constantly contact you as being worried?
- Rationalize when they make comments about your weight, your clothing, make-up/facial grooming, etc. as concerned about your appearance, or worried someone may think negative things about you or explain it as they have an odd sense of humor and don’t mean it.
- Explain why they don’t let you have friends of the opposite sex (or same-sex if you are in a homosexual relationship) as your abuser being concerned your friends may find you attractive or have ulterior motives for your relationship.
- Take the blame for when they get abusive, “It’s my fault they got upset.” or “I didn’t listen.” or “I didn’t do it correctly.”
- Explain abuse as “It was an accident.” or “I deserved it, I shouldn’t have done that.”
- Explain “They weren’t always like this, it’ll get better once we are better off, they promise.”
- Explain that your partner only gets that way when they drink/use substances and are not always like that.
- Say “Every couple fights. We just argue and fight more often.”
Domestic violence affects everyone differently. No one experiences it the same. Some relationships only have emotional abuse, others physical. Some involve all the types of abuse.
If you feel you are a survivor/victim of abuse, please call our 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at (209) 722-4357 and speak to an advocate today.