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Design Element

Domestic Violence 

Domestic Violence 

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, relationship status, sexual orientation, religion, or gender.   

What Does Abuse Look Like?  

Domestic violence can take on numerous forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and emotional abuse. Each form possesses one commonality: the intent to gain or maintain power and control over another person. Often, the person choosing to harm will use a combination of these types of abuse to maintain control.   

It isn’t always easy to recognize when you’re in an abusive relationship. Often, the abuse is subtle and gradual. It can emerge and intensify as the relationship grows. It can also be hard to recognize because the abusive behaviors aren’t always constant. There can be many moments of non-abusive and loving behaviors, making it more difficult to identify signs of abuse. It’s also important to understand that domestic violence looks different in every relationship because every relationship is different. Below are some signs of different forms of abuse. Review the questions and if you answer “yes” to any of them, you can call us to talk it through. 

Different Experiences of Abuse 

Abuse can manifest differently in each relationship and individual, depending on factors such as the dynamics of the relationship, the abuser’s tactics, and the survivor’s coping mechanisms. Here are some reasons why abuse is different for everyone: 

Power and Control Dynamics: Abuse is ultimately about power and control, and abusers use various tactics to exert dominance over their victims. These tactics can range from physical violence to psychological manipulation and may change over time as the abuser seeks to maintain control. 

Cultural and Societal Influences: Cultural norms, societal attitudes, and systemic inequalities can all influence the dynamics of abuse within a relationship. Factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status may intersect to shape individuals’ experiences of abuse. 

Survivor’s Coping Strategies: Survivors of abuse may develop coping strategies to navigate their circumstances and protect themselves from further harm. These strategies can vary widely and shape the different experiences that each person has. 

Trauma Responses: Abuse can have profound and lasting effects on survivors’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Individuals may experience symptoms of trauma, such as hypervigilance, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can impact their perception of the abuse and their ability to seek help. 

Seeking Help 

It’s essential to recognize that abuse is never acceptable and that everyone deserves to feel safe and respected in their relationships. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, it’s important to reach out for help and support. We are here to provide resources, guidance, and advocacy to survivors of abuse.