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Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behaviors as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated my one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, one constant component of domestic violence is one partner's constant efforts to maintain power and control over the other. 


​Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.


​It is not always easy to determine in the early stages of a relationship if one person will become abusive. Domestic violence intensifies over time. Abusers may often seem wonderful and perfect initially, but gradually become more aggressive and controlling as the relationship continues. 

●Threatening to hurt or kill the victim's friends, loved ones, or    

  pets
●Intimidating the victim with guns, knives, or other weapons
●Pressuring the victim to have sex with they don't want to or to

  do things sexually they are not comfortable with
●Forcing sex with others
●Refusing to use protection when having sex or sabotaging birth

  control
●Pressuring or forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol
●Preventing the victim from working or attending school,

  harassing the victim at either, keeping their victim up all night

  so they perform poorly at work or school 
●Destroying the victim's property

●Telling the victim that they can never do anything right
●Showing jealousy of the victim's family and friends 
●Accusing the victim of cheating
●Keeping or discouraging the victim from seeing friends or family
●Embarrassing or shaming the victim with put-downs
●Controlling every penny spent in the household
●Taking the victim's money or refusing to give them money for    

  expenses
●Looking at or acting in ways that scare the victim
●Controlling who the victim sees, where they go and what they do
●Dictating how the victim dresses, wears their hair, etc. 
●Stalking the victim or monitoring their victim's every move 
●Preventing the victim from making their own decisions
●Telling the victim that they are a bad parent or threatening to hurt, kill, or take away their children

What is Domestic Violence? 

Abuse may begin with behaviors that may easily be dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, possessiveness or distrust. Abusers might apologize profusely for their actions or try to convince the person they are abusing that they do these things out of care or love. However, violence and control always intensify over time with an abuser, despite the apologies. What may start out as something that was first believed to be harmless escalates into extreme control and abuse. 

Some examples of abusive tendencies may include but are not limited to:

Hartley House

Domestic Violence Shelter 

Serving families and our communities since 1979