WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic Violence is a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. Family or household members include spouses/former spouses, those in (or formerly in) a dating relationship where they have lived together, adults related by blood or marriage that have lived together in the past, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship. Domestic violence exists in a three-fold cycle.
The cycle of violence beings with the build up of tension where voices are raised and threats are made. The batterer may begin taking alcohol and drugs at this stage, later using this as an excuse for the abuse.
At the end of the tension building stage, the violent abuse occurs. The abuse may last from seconds to minutes to hours.
In the final stage, often referred to as the honeymoon stage, the abuser tries to make up for the violence in stage two. They will give flowers, candy, compliments, and sympathy. They will apologize to the victim, making promises that the abuse will never happen again and they will do anything to make sure that it does not happen again.
Eventually, the honeymoon stage gives over to the tension building stage and the cycle starts all over again.
Domestic Violence destroys the home. No one deserves to be abused. The responsibility for the violence belongs to the abuser. It is not the victim's fault! Help is available through the Victim Assistance Program through the WOMEN”S RESOURCE CENTER.
WHY SHOULD I GET HELP?
THE DANGER IS REAL. If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs, or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate, and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous. If the abuse continues without help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship.
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
206 W. Fourth Street, Duluth, MN
LEARN THE WARNING SIGNS
Disagreements develop from time to time in any relationship. Domestic violence is not just a disagreement. It is a whole pattern of behaviors used by one partner to establish and maintain power and control over the other. These behaviors become more frequent and intense over time. You can learn how to see personality characteristics that may give you some warning signs of a batterer. The Power and Control wheel above gives some examples of how abusers hold the power and control over the victim. For example, the batterer may threaten to kidnap or injure the children if the victim does not do what the batterer wants. In order to better control the victim, the batterer may keep the victim isolated from their family and friends with no outside financial security.
There are three kinds of abuse: Physical, Emotional, and Sexual. It is all about power and control. A victim may experience one, two, or all three forms of abuse. This list may help identify specific kinds of abuse.
Slapping, pushing, shoving
Holding you to keep you from leaving
Slapping or biting you
Kicking or choking you
Hitting or punching you
Throwing objects at you
Locking you out of the house
Abandoning you in dangerous places
Refusing you help when you are sick, injured, pregnant
Subjecting you to reckless driving
Forcing you off the road or keeping you from driving
Threatening you or hurting you with a weapon
Speeding through traffic to scare you
Playing with weapons to scare you
Taking pills to scare you
Faking physical attacks/ailments, then they are OK when they get what they want
Making threats like, "I know a guy in Chicago, he'll take care of you, you'll never be seen again".
Taking away control of where you go and who you see
Taking control of your sleep patterns by waking you up in the middle of the night to listen to 2-3 hours of B.S. or being so terrorized that a pin-drop would wake you
Keeping you malnourished; eating is not a priority, just surviving is; too upset to eat
Keeping you isolated from friends and family (so you can't check perceptions of yourself with others)
Saying all your friends are losers
Saying everyone has an "ulterior motive" in their actions
Saying they're (friends and relatives) just "using you"
Controlling you by keeping you in constant fear
Keeping you on eggshells every minute with comments like, "Don't get me started..."
Minimizing or ignoring your feelings
Ridiculing or insulting your most valued beliefs, religion, race, heritage, or class
Withholding approval, appreciation, or affection as punishment
Continually criticizing you, calling you names, shouting at you
Controlling your money
Manipulating you with contradictions
Threatening to kidnap your children if you leave
Insisting on unwanted and uncomfortable touching
Forcing you to strip when you don't want to
Forcing sex with him or others or forcing you to watch others
Forcing sex after beating
Forcing particular unwanted sexual acts
Forcing sex when you are sick or it is a danger to your health
Forcing sex for the purpose of hurting you with objects or weapons
Committing sadistic sexual acts