What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is violence that happens at home between people who know each other: husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends whether or not they live together, same sex partners, relatives, and parents and their children. Domestic violence is a way of acting in an intimate or family relationship in which one partner is forced to change his or her behavior in response to threats or abuse from the other partner. A lot of times the violence is physical, but it can also be threats, isolation, intimidation, harassment, emotional mistreatment, forced sex or making threats with regard to having your children reported.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence in your home, you are not alone. Even though most domestic violence is usually hidden, it is very common and it probably affects people that you know.

Domestic violence will often get worse with time. It does not go away on its own. It is important to remember that the violence is not your fault; your abuser chooses to use domestic violence to control you. Domestic violence is a crime in the United States. No matter what your abusive partner tells you, if he is hurting you or your children then there are things you can do and people who will help you stop the cycle of violence. Every person can get help to stop domestic violence even if they do not have legal permission from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), formerly known as Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), to be in the United States.

Abuse Check List

Does your partner:

  • Treat you roughly or grab, push, pinch, shove, or hit you?
  • Make you feel unable to make decisions?
  • Blame you for how they feel or act?
  • Prevent you from visiting your friends or family?
  • Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?
  • Do you feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?
  • Do you feel scared of how your partner will act/ react?
  • Put down your accomplishments or goals?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes you may be experiencing abuse.

Safety Planning

If you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship it is important to make a safety plan to make sure that you have all the things that you may need.For more information about safety planning visit:

Florida Department of Children and Families

This site is meant for education and awareness. It is not meant to be an alternative for qualified medical and legal advice.

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