Domestic violence occurs when a current or former intimate partner or household member uses physical or sexual abuse, threats, and/or emotional manipulation to exert power and control over a partner or household member.
Abusive behaviors include:
- Accusing you of cheating and being disloyal.
- Making you feel worthless.
- Hurting you by shaking, restraining, hitting, slapping, choking, punching, strangling or kicking you.
- Intimidating and threatening to hurt you or someone you love.
- Threatening to hurt themselves if they don’t get what they want.
- Trying to control what you do and whom you see.
- Keeping you away from friends and family.
- Pressuring or forcing you into unwanted sex.
- Controlling your access to money.
- Calling you names or using vulgar language.
- Stalking you by constantly calling, texting, emailing, posting on Facebook or Instagram, or following you.
- Using your children to manipulate you.
Domestic violence does not discriminate. It crosses all ages, genders, races, socioeconomic levels, and ethnic groups. However, domestic violence affects women disproportionately. One in four women will be the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in her lifetime as compared to one in seven men. In 2015, 55% of all female homicides resulted from intimate partner related violence. In New Jersey in 2016, in 74% of all domestic violence incidents the victim was a woman.
Cyber Abuse: The Dark Side of Technology
Technology is a powerful and easily accessible tool for people to connect with each other. When abusers use technology to intimidate, control, shame and monitor their victims, it becomes a tool of abuse.
- Text, call or email constantly.
- Send threatening messages.
- Demand victim check-in and prove location.
- Post threats on social media.
- Use Find My Phone apps.
- Hide GPS on a victim’s car.
- Monitor phone activity.
- Install hidden cameras in home.
- Access hidden video/voice recording machines.
- Hack into email and social media accounts.
- Block or fake a number to call or text.
- Use a trusted ally’s number to call or text.
- Create a fake social media account to impersonate a victim.
- Post or threaten to post intimate pictures and/or videos on social media.
- Solicit sex on Craigslist or social media using a victim’s photo, name and contact information.
If you are in imminent danger, dial 911.
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Partners provides free legal services to low-income domestic violence and sexual assault victims. To contact us for help:
For more information about how Partners might be able to help you, check out our Get Help page.
Power and Control Wheel
The Power and Control Wheel below illustrates common patterns of abusive behavior.
Power and Control Wheel Copyright by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs: 202 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN, 55802.