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AN ACT OF DOMESTIC ABUSE OCCURS EVERY 12 SECONDS IN THE U.S.

According to former Attorney General Janet Reno, “Too many American women live in fear of the very people upon whom they depend for love and affection. Instead of providing refuge, the walls of many homes serve as prison bars.”

 

WHAT IS DOMESTIC ABUSE?

Domestic abuse, or “battering”, is a pattern of abuse by one partner against the other, for the purpose of maintaining power and control. Domestic abuse often includes (but NOT ALWAYS) physical abuse. Forms of domestic abuse can include:

physical abuse
sexual abuse
verbal abuse
threats and intimidation
isolation or restriction from friends, family and other support systems
destruction of property
financial exploitation
jealousy and possessiveness
stalking or monitoring of behavior

Physical battering: The abuser’s attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks (this can include the abuse of household pets).

Sexual abuse: Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual abuse where the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser, or to engage in unwanted sexual activity.

Psychological battering: The abuser’s psychological or mental abuse can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, fault-finding, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property.

BATTERING ESCALATES. It often begins with behaviors like threats, name calling, abuse in your presence (such as punching a fist through a wall) and/or damage to objects or pets. It may escalate to restraining, pushing, kicking, slapping, pinching, tripping, biting, throwing, or grabbing. Finally, it may become life-threatening with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of deadly weapons. (Remember, ANY household item can be used as a dangerous weapon!)

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article courtesy of downstateedu.com

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