What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that is used to gain or maintain power over an intimate partner. It is also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), Dating Abuse, or Relationship Abuse. The term includes physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse, financial abuse, spiritual abuse and stalking by a former or current intimate partner.
Domestic Violence does not discriminate. It can happen to any race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, age, education levels or culture. Multiple forms of abuse can be present, and it can be important to know the warning signs of abuse.
Sexual assault is any forced, unwanted, coerced sexual contact. Different types of violence can be included in sexual assault.
Sexual Assault can include, but is not limited to:
*Sexual assault is not limited to these behaviors only. Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault.
*Consent is a verbal agreement between two partners to engage in sexual activity. Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated, asleep, incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or unconscious.
Sex trafficking is the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It does not discriminate and happens everywhere.
Stalking occurs when an individual harasses, threatens, and/or follows someone, causing concern for safety.
The Cycle of Violence demonstrates how violence is a pattern. Abuse is not typically an isolated event, it follows a pattern. The abuse worsens over time in both seriousness and occurrence.
Relationships do not start out with abuse. Red flags emerge after the start. Abusive partners move quickly in relationships, often pushing moving in together or marriage quickly. The first phase of the cycle of violence emerges with red flags.