According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute in the United States. This means more than 10 million physical abuse victims every year. Even though domestic violence is prevalent across all communities, recognizing abuse, even by victims, is often difficult.
Furthermore, physical violence is just one component of domestic abuse. Examples of Domestic Violence include patterns of behavior someone uses to maintain power and control over another person when they are part of an intimate or familial relationship. Domestic Violence is sometimes also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), dating abuse, or relationship abuse.
ABUSE DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE
An important thing to remember is that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. Domestic violence can affect people of any race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, education level, or economic status. This applies to both the victim and perpetrators of domestic violence. Everyone within a community is affected by domestic abuse. But those who are directly impacted by the violence, domination and controlling behavior inflicted by an abuser, often avoid recognizing abuse or don’t want to accept they are being abused.
THE MANY FORMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
Domestic violence includes any behavior that can intimidate or physically harm a person, manipulate or control a partner/child/family member or otherwise force a person or persons to act in ways they don’t want to. Domestic violence is demonstrated in several forms, including physical, verbal, psychological, emotional and/or sexual abuse, or the abuse of someone through financial control. It is more common than not to see multiple forms of abuse acting at the same time in abusive relationships.
For example, physical abuse involves the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. Psychological, emotional and verbal abuse involves the use of verbal and non-verbal actions to diminish a victim’s confidence and self-esteem. Using these types of abuse keeps the abuser in control so they can maintain power in the relationship. Furthermore, in cases of sexual abuse, physical, psychological, emotional and verbal abuse can be combined in a manner that forces a partner to perform sexual acts that the victim doesn’t consent to or want to participate in.