What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic violence is rarely an isolated incident. 

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior intended to exert power and control by the offender over the victim.  It can happen in any relationship. That relationship could be marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation.
Domestic violence is intended to harm the physical and/or mental well-being of the victim.  It has many forms including physical aggression, sexual assault, emotional abuse, economic deprivation, isolation, or actions that influence another person including terrorizing, domination, intimidation, manipulation, neglect and stalking.

Domestic violence is a silent epidemic that affects all members of society.  Domestic violence happens to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexual orientations.  Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Domestic violence is not one partner losing their temper.  Abusers are often friendly and caring to everyone but their victim.  Domestic violence is control, not anger.


A few quick facts


  • Women are the victims of domestic violence in approximately 85% of the cases.
  • The effects do not stop with the victim. Domestic violence extends to all members of a household and especially to children.
  • Over 3 million - and possibly as many as 10 million - children witness domestic violence every year.  Children living in homes where domestic violence is occurring are hurt whether they are physically injured or not. 
  • A child's exposure to the father abusing the mother is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
  • Male children who witness domestic abuse are more likely to become abusers when they grow up.
  • Children living in homes where domestic violence is occurring are often behind developmentally and perform poorly in school.  They learn to handle conflicts with aggression and express anger inappropriately.

Learn more.
Help stop the violence.

What is domestic violence
Every year
in the United States
240,000 pregnant women
experience domestic violence.

Pregnant women are at twice the
risk of battery where 40%
of the assaults begin
during the first

- American Pregnancy Association
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