Domestic violence is physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse (or a combination of ) that occurs between intimate partners.
People that are:
- living together
can all be victims of domestic violence.
People who are:
- dated once but have broken up
can also be victims of domestic violence.
The crime of domestic violence occurs when one partner is forced to do what their abuser wants through verbal, physical, psychological, or sexual violence.
The patterns of abuse do not usually begin with an act of physical violence. Psychological abuse, including isolation, minimization of decision-making abilities and obsessive jealousy, are usually initiated first. Abuse or battering is a system of behaviors to control another person’s actions and feelings.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior. An abuser is not out of control, they have chosen behaviours which are designed to control their victim.
Below are two diagrams.
The first circle shows the patterns of behavior that occur in violent relationships.
The lower circle shows the things that happen in healthy relationships between equals.