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What is Abuse?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors which keeps one partner in a position of power over the other partner through the use of fear, intimidation and control.
There are many types of abuse

Physical Abuse

Injury injury inflicted upon a person with cruel and/or malicious intent

  • Grabbing, pinching, shoving, hair pulling shaking, kicking, slapping, hitting, biting, throwing, strangling/choking, burning

  • Denying access to medical care or medication

  • Destruction of personal property

  • Use of weapons to threaten or injure

  • Denying access to food, water, sleep

Emotional Abuse

Causing fear by intimidation and/or threats in order to maintain control

  • Threats of physical harm to partner, children, family, friends or self

  • Destruction of property and pets

  • Forced isolation from family, friends, school and/or work

  • Verbal attacks, criticizes and humiliates partner in public

  • Possessive jealousy

Economic Abuse

Making or attempting to make a person financially dependent

  • Using money to control, intimidate and/or isolate a partner

  • Controlling and denying access to all money and financial resources

  • Forbidding or sabotaging attendance at school or employment

  • Refusing to work and forcing partner to support the family

  • Ruining victim’s credit rating

Sexual Abuse

Coercing, attempting to coerce, or forcing without consent, another to participate unwillingly in any sexual act or behavior

  • Rape

  • Forced sex after physical beatings

  • Treating partner in a sexually demeaning manner

  • Coercing partner into sexual acts he/she is uncomfortable with, such as sex with others, physically painful sex

  • Denying partner contraception or protection against sexually transmitted diseases

  • Forcing partner to dress in a certain way

Harassment and Stalking

Purposely or knowingly engaging in a serious of actions targeted at another with the intent to cause emotional distress

  • Frequent, uninvited visits to victim’s home or work, or any other place he/she regularly frequents

  • Repeated, unwanted contact by any means

  • Following or observing someone’s actions for an extended period of time

Am I in an abusive relationship?

Domestic violence can happen to anyone in all segments of the community regardless of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, culture, ethnicity, age, physical ability, education, politics, socioeconomic class, and religion.


Do you or someone you know:

  • Live in fear of an intimate partner?

  • Get blamed whenever things go wrong?

  • Have a partner who controls when and where you go, what you do, and who you see and talk to?

  • Have a partner with a “Jekyll & Hyde” personality?

  • Make excuses for your partner’s behavior?

  • Have to ask permission to work or spend money?

  • Tell yourself, “It’s really not so bad?”

  • Feel threatened, degraded, or forced to do things against your will?



Everyone has the right to:


  • Be treated with respect.

  • Make their own decisions.

  • Express their own opinions.

  • Say no.

  • Come and go as they please.

  • Maintain their own identity, social life, and interests.

  • Privacy.

  • Control their own money.

  • Do things without asking for their partner’s permission.

  • Safe and healthy relationships for themselves and their children.

If you or someone you know is being abused, there is help. Call 314-652-3623 to speak with an advocate

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