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Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to establish and maintain control over an intimate partner. Some abusive actions may cause physical injury and some are criminal, but all are psychologically damaging to the victim.

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together, or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Abusers blame others for their behavior-- especially their victims.  Statements such as "You deserved it" or “You made me do it” are common. No one deserves to be abused and abusers are absolutely responsible for their own beliefs, values, choices, and behaviors.

Domestic violence is never the victim’s fault! It begins with the offender and it ends with the offender! 



You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:
  • Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.

  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.

  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.

  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.

  • Does not want you to work.

  • Controls finances or refuses to share money.

  • Punishes you by withholding affection.

  • Expects you to ask permission.

  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family, or your pets.

  • Humiliates you in any way.


You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:
  • Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, etc.).

  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked, or choked you.

  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.

  • Scared you by driving recklessly.

  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.

  • Forced you to leave your home.

  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.

  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.

  • Hurt your children.

  • Used physical force in sexual situations.

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:
  • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.

  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.

  • Wants you to dress in a sexual way.

  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.

  •  Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual  

  • Held you down during sex.

  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired, or after beating you.

  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.

  • Involved other people in sexual activities with you.

  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex.


If any of the statements above have happened to you, you may be in an abusive relationship.

from: The National Domestic Violence Hotline

graphic of power and control wheel

For help, please call

The Family Center at 715-421-1511

or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-SAFE (7233),

TTY 1-800-787-3224.

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