Domestic Violence Articles

Domestic violence is a severe issue that impacts people of all genders, races, and cultures. People who experience domestic violence are likely to be injured either physically or emotionally. There are many kinds of abuse, and they all negatively impact human beings. Sometimes the scars fade, while other times they leave permanent mental and emotional damage on domestic violence survivors.

Here you will find articles that help you learn about what domestic violence is, how to recognize the signs, and the ways to seek help. You’ll learn how to help friends and loved ones who are enduring abuse. Domestic violence is a taboo topic, but the more we openly discuss it, the better likelihood that people will get the help they need.

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Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the purposeful infliction of harm on friends or family. Often, victims of domestic violence are in abusive relationships with an intimate partner. The relationship is controlling in nature, and the victim may feel trapped. Some additional forms of abuse may accompany any physical abuse that a person faces. Some people may associate domestic violence with bodily harm. In addition to physical damage, survivors can suffer mental harm, including emotional abuse. 

Victims of domestic violence experience various forms of injustice, such as power and control, sexual violence, and domestic abuse. These dynamics are painful for the victim and draining on their mental and physical energy. Domestic abuse from a partner threatens the quality of life for everyone involved. Victims of domestic violence experience severe trauma that needs to be addressed in therapy. It's essential that they seek help for their mental health. Even if victims of domestic violence get out of the abusive relationship, they can still suffer from the psychological repercussions for a lifetime. Additionally, it can be challenging to get out of an abusive relationship in the first place. A victim might fear for their lives, their safety, or the safety of their kids. 

Sexual violence

Sexual violence may be combined with other violent acts in an abusive relationship. A person who is sexually abused is being harmed mentally and emotionally as well. Sexual violence from an intimate partner can be very confusing for the victim. Your intimate partner is supposed to love you and encourage you to grow, yet victims of domestic violence who are also victims of sexual violence experience the opposite. Being in an abusive relationship with an intimate partner is often heartbreaking as much as it is life-threatening for victims of domestic violence. 

Understanding gaslighting

The words that you hear from your partner, their family, or their friends may convince you that it's "all in your head."' They will try to convince you that you're overreacting. Rest assured that your feelings and experiences are real. Trying to convince someone that their reality is false is an example of gaslighting. Abusers use gaslighting to control and manipulate their victims. With this technique, they can control the victim, including what they think and perceive to be real. It can be complicated by family members or your partner themselves. That is a common strategy used to keep victims silent and complacent. Abusers use gaslighting as a way to make you question your sanity and stay in the relationship. You won't leave if you feel helpless and out of control. Unfortunately, abusers are generally master manipulators, which is just one of the many reasons that it can be so hard to get out of an abusive relationship. It's important not to shame a victim of abuse because, as much as we don't want to believe it, it could happen to anyone.

Forms of abuse 

The abuse that your partner inflicts on you may not always be physical or sexual. Abusive individuals combine tactics to keep their victims under their control. Many forms of abuse can pair with domestic violence, including a variety of emotionally or verbally abusive tactics such as manipulation or name-calling. An abusive partner may tear you down to the point where you believe that you cannot function outside of the relationship. However, that is not true. Recognize this as an abusive tactic that your partner is using to keep you in the relationship. 

Get help for domestic violence

There are many resources available for victims of domestic violence. You don't have to suffer alone. The national domestic violence hotline, founded in 1966, is available any time day or night. Victims of domestic violence can contact the national domestic violence hotline at https://www.thehotline.org via their online chat option or call 1−800−799−7233.

Victims of domestic violence should know that when they contact the hotline, everything discussed is confidential. If you are being abused, this is a resource you can use to get help. 

Healing after abuse

Getting out of an abusive situation is difficult and traumatic. If you have a history of abuse or domestic violence, it is essential to seek the help of a mental health professional. A therapist can help you work through your trauma. Coping with the after-effects of domestic violence is no easy feat, and you do not have to go through it alone. Talk to a licensed counselor or therapist online or in your local area and get the help that you need. The mental health professionals at ReGain are here to help you work through any non-immediate mental health concerns you have. 

If you are in immediate danger, contact the national domestic violence hotline. Your conversation with the hotline is entirely private. That is crucial so that the victims feel safe enough to get the help they need. In addition to the national domestic violence hotline, you may also contact the police or an organization in your area. Remember that your safety is the most important thing and that you must put your life and (if you have kids) your children's lives first. You can get the support that you need. It may feel scary, but taking that first step and talking to an online counselor can help.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does domestic violence mean?

Domestic violence, which is also referred to as intimate partner violence or IPV, refers to abuse within romantic relationships. Abuse in a partnership may include emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, threats, and other behaviors like stalking, cyberstalking, or blackmailing. Abuse is never okay, and there is never any justification for domestic violence behavior. Domestic violence is about power and control on the side of the perpetrator or abusive partner.

Domestic violence can impact anyone. There are additional difficulties or barriers for certain groups to be mindful of. For example, the abuse immigrants face in terms of domestic violence is not always recognized. Additionally, the abuse immigrants face is sometimes more difficult to get out of for a variety of reasons, including language barriers and financial barriers, depending on the situation. The deaf community and people with disabilities can also have a harder time leaving abusive partners or reaching out about an abusive partner. Deaf community support and deaf community resources are available for those in need. The national domestic violence hotline website also has information available for immigrants who are facing abuse. 

Many people wonder why people stay in abusive relationships. The truth is that it's not always easy, let alone safe, to go. Abusive partners often attempt to distance their partner or spouse from friends and family, gain financial control over the victim, or use threats. People stay in abusive relationships because it often feels dangerous and scary to leave. Safety planning is often required to leave an abusive relationship. A safety plan may entail support from law enforcement, the national domestic violence hotline or a similar resource, and the help of friends and family. If you're wondering what to expect when you contact law enforcement, there is a page about reporting to the police on the national domestic violence website. The department of justice also has a webpage available with information regarding domestic violence. Additionally, on the department of justice website, you'll find links to important domestic violence resources. 

To learn more about the Board of Directors at any specific organization that helps individuals that are victims survivors or those who are currently impacted by domestic violence, visit the organization's website to learn more. For example, the national domestic violence hotline website lists their board of directors alongside their titles. Individuals who work for organizations built on helping victims and survivors are dedicated to helping domestic violence end for all victims of crime affiliated with domestic violence. They understand the importance of community support and community resources and outreach. 

What is domestic violence behavior?

Domestic violence behavior is abusive behavior that occurs in romantic relationships. Offering support to someone in a domestic violence situation can be tricky. There are many organizations dedicated to offering support and education to victims, survivors, and friends or family members of current victims, the most well-known being the national domestic violence hotline. Part of offering support to victims with abusive partners often means that you can't become a target of suspicion to the abusive partner; you want to make sure that you remain in the victim's life so that you can help with a safety plan or safety planning when they are able to escape and so that they have a connection to you. 

How does domestic violence affect the victim?

Those who have survived abusive relationships frequently endure lasting trauma. Studies show that people who have endured domestic violence are at a higher risk for both depression and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. When it comes to abusive partners legal involvement is often necessary and part of a safety plan. An abusive partner’s legal implications may range, and it can be a very scary and traumatizing time for a victim when the perpetrator is released. This is a time where additional support and safety measures may be needed. It's also crucial to note that there are an alarming number of cases where perpetrators abuse people with disabilities. This is an important topic that can't be ignored, as abuse might affect the victim in additional or unique ways under these circumstances. 

Abuse in the deaf community is even more prevalent than it is in hearing individuals. Deaf services abuse victims can utilize are on the national domestic violence hotline website. The National Deaf Domestic Violence Hotline (NDDVH), which is a partnership affiliated with the Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS)offer dear services abuse victims can use at any time of the day or night. If you are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing, you can contact the NDDVH through video phone at 855 812 1001, through instant messenger at DeafHotline, or via email at nationaldeafhotline@adwas.org. The volunteers are all part of the deaf community and provide vital services to others within the community who are victims of domestic violence. 

Domestic violence in pregnancy is another concern. If you look for "disabilities pregnancy abuse statistics," "abuse in the deaf community statistics," or "abuse people with disabilities pregnancy abuse domestic violence statistics," you will find research and information on the unique ways that an abuser can harm a person in these situations. The national domestic violence hotline website has pages on pregnancy and abuse, the deaf community and abuse, and disabilities and abuse, including a piece about a safety plan for people facing abuse during pregnancy. 

What are the signs and symptoms of abuse?

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of abuse: 

  • Bruises or other signs of physical violence
  • Threats of any kind
  • Blackmail
  • The usage of manipulation tactics 
  • Controlling behavior on behalf of the abusive partner
  • Stalking behaviors
  • Feeling as though you're walking on eggshells
  • Fearing your partner in any capacity
  • Your partner monitors your social media and/or phone
  • Name-calling and other verbal abuse tactics
  • Low confidence or self-esteem that wasn't present prior to the relationship
  • Withdrawal from friends and family members 
  • Forced of manipulated isolation from friends family and others in a person's life, especially family or friends who don't approve of the relationship or who might intervene 
  • Financial control 

If you feel as though nothing you do is good enough or your partner tells you that the relationship would be fine if you changed or that it's all your fault, it's a big warning sign of abuse. 

What are the 4 main types of intimate partner violence?

The four main types of intimate partner violence are sexual violence, physical violence, stalking, and psychological or emotional abuse. Threats are also considered abusive.

What is domestic conflict?

Conflict differs from abuse, but in abusive relationships, an abusive partner may have behaviors that escalate during times of conflict. Conflict can be healthy, or it can be unhealthy. The definition of the word conflict is, "a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one" according to Oxford languages. Imagine that you have a disagreement with your partner about something serious. This could be anything from decisions within the relationship to world views. In a healthy partnership, you would be able to talk it out and express yourself while feeling safe. Depending on the seriousness of the issue, even if the outcome is a breakup, you will not feel as though you're in danger, and in a healthy partnership, abuse tactics won't occur during conflict. There are conflict resolution resources available that can help. The national domestic violence hotline website has a page on healthy conflict resolution that can help you understand healthy conflict resolution and what it should look like. Another one of the healthy conflict resolution resources available for couples where domestic violence is not present is counseling or therapy, where couples can talk about communication and how to navigate conflict.  

What is an example of domestic violence?

Here are some examples of domestic violence: 

  • A partner who uses physical abuse tactics including but not limited to hitting, kicking, punching, hair pulling, slapping, or any other use of force or violence
  • A partner who uses financial abuse tactics such as controlling their partner's money 
  • A partner who uses sexual abuse tactics, such as coercion
  • A partner who threatens to harm or blackmail their partner 

This is by no means an extensive list. Domestic violence and the behaviors of abusive partners vary substantially, and all of them are serious. It is a term that covers a variety of abusive behaviors. 

What are warning signs of violence?

If a person is being abused by a partner, they may exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms. These may include but are not limited to: 

  • Social isolation or withdrawal, even if it starts off slowly and increases over time or is not complete isolation
  • Changes in a person's personality, such as decreased confidence or low self-esteem 
  • Little to no control over their own money (because the partner has control) 
  • Signs that a partner is controlling, such as a person needing the approval of their partner to see friends or someone needing to check in with their partner past what is normal
  • Walking on eggshells around a partner or fearing what they're going to do if they are not pleased, whether the fear is related to physically abusive behaviors, emotionally abusive behaviors, verbally abusive behaviors, or something else
  • Controlled or monitored social media accounts, phone logs, or text messages 
  • Secrecy 
  • Injuries, excuses for bruises or other signs of physical abuse, or behaviors used to hide physical signs of abuse 

Healthy relationships should include boundaries communication trust equality consent healthy conflict resolution and respect. Domestic violence is not excusable in any case. 

Where does domestic violence happen the most?

Domestic violence occurs worldwide. During the COVID 19 pandemic, there is an even higher level of concern for sufferers of domestic violence. Families family members, and individuals all deserve to be safe. All families family members, and individuals facing domestic violence everywhere deserve freedom and hope. 

How does domestic violence affect a woman?

Domestic violence may affect a woman or someone of any other gender long after victims survivors or those in abusive relationships disassociate from the relationship. Someone might experience tremendous fear, whether that fear of future relationships or fear of their abuser. They may develop PTSD and other mental health conditions. Additionally, in the case that a partner is controlling financially, they may fear for their family and youth, or how they will take care of their family and youth. If you or a family member is experiencing domestic violence, there are places offering support and education, as well as community resources and outreach options available. Knowing about the availability of these resources can help you with safety planning or building a safety plan, as well as how to keep your safety planning or safety plan confidential. Victims of domestic violence can contact the national domestic violence hotline at https://www.thehotline.org via their online chat option or call 1−800−799−7233.

The department of health and human services division called “administration on children youth and families” has resources available for victims of domestic violence and helping victims survivors and those currently affected by domestic violence. When you visit the department of health and human services administration on children youth and families division website, you will find links to resources for victims survivors and those currently impacted by domestic violence. Additionally, you will find information about housing and other resources provided to those in need when you visit the administration on children youth and families website "help for individuals" page here. 

When you search for "abuse healthy relationships domestic violence therapist" or "abuse healthy relationships recovery therapy," you'll find that healthy relationships are possible and that there are many providers dedicated to offering support and healing to those who have been impacted by domestic violence. Trust can be hard after domestic violence, and rightfully so. If you are interested in therapy after surviving domestic violence, you can search for a provider in your area on the web, or you can ask your doctor or insurance company for the name of a provider. You can also look for an online therapist or counselor. Healing, empowerment, and a happy life overall is possible for survivors of domestic violence. 

How many types of violence are there?

The most noted types of domestic violence are physical abuse, sexual abuse or coercion, reproductive coercion, psychological abuse or emotional abuse, financial abuse, or forms of digital abuse, such as cyberstalking or monitoring one's social media usage. Examples of the various types of abuse are listed on the national domestic violence hotline website. Additionally, information about why people stay in abusive relationships appears on the, "abuse defined why do people stay in abusive relationships" page. Click here to access the "abuse defined why do people stay in abusive relationships" page. You can also go to the menu on their website and scroll down to the section where it says, "is this abuse?" There, you'll find the abuse defined page and other information. 

Since abusers often minimize domestic violence or abuse to victims, or gaslight victims into believing that they are "crazy" or that it's their fault, it can be difficult to realize the severity of your situation until you are out of it. Many victims of domestic violence continue to have realizations related to the ways that they were abused and manipulated for quite some time. Domestic violence is never your fault, and it is something that you can heal from.

How can I heal from domestic violence?

Once you are out of an abusive relationship, you may experience long-term mental health effects and other difficulties. Therapy or mental health counseling is an excellent place to go for both healing and support. There are therapists who specialize in domestic violence that can help. People who have endured domestic violence can go on to have healthy relationships with all of the necessary components of a good partnership, such as boundaries communication trust equality consent healthy conflict resolution and respect.

If you are currently enduring domestic violence or abuse, call the national domestic violence hotline. Your call will be confidential. On the national domestic violence hotline website, you'll find a web chat option That is available for those who cannot make a phone call. There is an escape button on the national domestic violence hotline website that you can use to ensure your safety. This escape button allows you to exit the webpage at any time. 

The national domestic violence hotlines consent code of ethics impact report state that the consent code of ethics includes trust, credibility, mutual respect, accountability, equal opportunity inclusion, proprietary information, and observance of the law. It's important that directors our advocates informed consent code of ethics impact report state and what it means for the organization. In our communities, from our directors our advocates informed consent code means that what you can expect when you contact trusted organizations is mutual respect, credibility, and acknowledgment of diversity.

The national domestic violence hotline serves abuse victims or those with abusive partners 365 days a year, seven days a week, and 24 hours a day. Contact the hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or click here to go to their website and contact the hotline using the web chat option. Once you were on the national domestic violence hotline website, look for the button that says, "chat now" to start speaking with a trained advocate. It is almost time for the 25th anniversary at the national domestic violence hotline. This anniversary at the national domestic violence hotline means that they have been answering calls since 1996. The advocates are trained, and your safety is their priority. Learn more about the 25th anniversary of the hotline here. 

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