What is Domestic Violence?
Family and Domestic Abuse is the misuse of power in a relationship in order to coerce, control, intimidate or dominate another person. It can be understood as a pattern of behaviors used to control or exert power over another person in the context of an intimate relationship. The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control states that “intimate partner violence – or IPV – is actual or threatened physical or sexual violence or psychological and emotional abuse directed toward a spouse, ex-spouse, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or current or former dating partner. Some of the common terms used to describe intimate partner violence are domestic abuse, spouse abuse, domestic violence, courtship violence, battering, marital rape, and date rape (Saltzman, et al. , 1999)
Violence comes into play when one person cannot control another person through other means. These other means of control may be economic/financial restrictions; verbal put-downs or criticism meant to erode self esteem and confidence; sexual abuse; emotional abuse intended to confuse and belittle a person; isolation from support systems, and potentially helpful resources; threatening to hurt or take children, or placing the children in the middle of conflict; using spiritual beliefs to bolster a sense of power or dominance; harassment; and threats to resort to physical violence.