What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person in order to maintain power and control in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence occurs when one intimate partner uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation and emotional, sexual or economic abuse to control and change the behavior of the other partner.
Relationships are defined as a connection by blood or marriage; a bond between people having dealings with one another, or people linked in a romantic or sexual union. At the RDVIC, we recognize relationships that occur between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, parents and children, caregivers and care receivers, and lesbian or gay partners.
No matter the type of relationships you are in if the other person is hurting you emotionally and/or physically, he/she is crossing the line from a healthy to an abusive relationship and jeopardizing your safety.
Crossing the line generally does not happen suddenly. It is a series of events leading to a place you never thought you would be.
If someone in your life, is using any of the actions listed below, your line of safety and respect is being crossed:
- putting you down
- making and/or carrying out threats
- playing mind games
- using children/grandchildren to control you
- making light of the abuse; saying the abuse didn’t happen; blaming the abuse on you
- making you feel guilty
- using jealousy to justify actions
- controlling what you do, who you see and talk to, what you read, where you go; limiting your outside involvement
- Using looks and/or actions to scare you
- controlling the family income; keeping you from working; making you ask for money, or taking your money
- destroying property; abusing pets; displaying weapons
- slapping, hitting, pushing, holding you down, choking, or pulling your hair
- forcing you to have sex or refusing to practice safe sex
Abusers often use some of the following or similar statements. These words are used as a way to control you.
- No one loves you as much as I do.
- You don’t need family.
- I want to protect you.
- You know I love you, that is why I get so angry.
- I understand you, but other people will think you’re crazy.
- I will take care of you. You can’t make it out there without me.
- Our family comes first, and anyone who tries to break us up will pay.
- I love you so much, but I will kill you before I’ll let you leave.
To learn more about domestic violence and recognizing signs of abuse, visit In Motion online and look under Get Help, then choose Domestic Violence.
If someone you love is crossing your line of safety, tell someone you trust or call RDVIC (304) 292-5100 for assistance.