What is Domestic Violence?

Ellen Higgins and Deborah Hackworth talk with Claudia Pahls about domestic violence in this episode. It's not about anger, it's about power and control. 

"An abuser isn't 'out of control.' They control themselves - they aren't abusing random people. They control their anger and abuse and focus it on their victims."

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.​

Abuse is 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. 

Power and Control Wheel 

​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, kicked doors, 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.

Visit https://www.dasasmi.org/ for resources or call our 24-hour hotline at 800-828-2023.

We are here to talk 24/7

© 2012 by DASAS

The mission of Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services is to lead efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault in southwest Michigan. 

We will assist domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in clarifying their options, accessing community services that support personal choice and will provide a safe place for survivors and their children.  It is our strong desire to walk alongside survivors on their journey, whatever that may look like. 

All DASAS services are free and confidential.


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