Questions and Answers about Domestic Violence
What is Domestic Violence?
It is the pattern of behavior that seeks to establish power and control over another
person through fear and intimidation. It often includes the threat or use of violence.
Battering happens when batterers believe they are entitled to control their partners.
They believe that violence is acceptable and will produce the desired results.
Not all battering is physical. Battering includes emotional abuse, economic abuse,
sexual abuse, threats to and about children, using "male privilege", intimidation,
isolation, and other behaviors used to induce fear and establish power.
Battering escalates. It may begin with name-calling or punching thorough a wall
or kicking a pet. Next steps may be pushing, slapping, pinching; then punching,
kicking, biting, tripping, throwing, or restraining. It often includes sexual
assault. It may lead to choking, the breaking of bones, and other life threatening
Who Are Battered?
Rural women of all religious, ethnic, racial, economic, educational backgrounds; of
varying ages, and lifestyles. There is NO "typically battered personality".
The risk factor is often being born female or becoming physically handicapped.
Over 50% of all women will experience physical violence in an intimate
relationship, and for 24 to 34% of those women the battering will be regular and
What Are The Types Of Abuse?
punching - shoving - restraining to keep one from leaving - slapping - biting -
kicking - choking - hitting - throwing objects - locking one out of the house -
abandoning one in dangerous places - refusing to help when partner is sick, injured,
or pregnant - subjecting another to reckless driving - forced one off the road or kept
partner from driving - raping - threatening to hurt one with a weapon
told anti-women jokes - treated women as sex objects - filled with jealous anger;
assuming partner would have sex with any available person - insisting that partner dress
in a more sexual way than they wanted - minimized the importance of partner's feelings
about sex - criticizes sexual performance - insists on unwanted and uncomfortable
touching - withholds sex and affection - uses sexual names like "whore" or "frigid"
- forces partner to strip even though they did not want to - shows sexual interest
towards others in public - engages in affairs after agreeing to a monogamous relationship
- forces sex - forces partner to have sex with others - forces partner to watch
others having sex - forces particular unwanted sexual acts - forces sex after beatings
- forces sex when partner is sick or it is in danger of partner's health - forces
sex for the purpose of hurting partner with objects or weapons - commits sadistic
ignores partner's feelings - ridicules or insults women as a group - ridicules or
insults partner's most valued beliefs; such as religion, race, heritage, or class
- withholds approval, appreciation, or affection as punishment - continually criticizes,
calls names, shouts, insults, or drives away partner's family or friends - humiliates
partner in private or public places - refuses to socialize with partner - keeps partner
from working - controls the money - makes all the decisions - refuses to work or share
money - takes car keys away - takes money away - regularly threatens to leave or tells
partner to leave - threatens to hurt partner and partner's family - punishes or deprives
children when angry at partner - threatens to kidnap the children if partner leaves
- abuses or threatens to abuse pets - tells partner of affairs - accuses partner of
having affairs - manipulates with lies and contradictions
doesn't allow contact with family - doesn't allow friendships - if there are friends;
calls them names, questions/accuses, harasses till partner ends these friendships
- suggests/demands a physical move away from a geographic location that is familiar or
safe to the family - "mutual" friends are abusers/victims and/or alcoholic/drug
dependent - keeps partner prisoner in own home - makes family live on abuser's time;
everyone is where abuser wants them, when the abuser wants them there - refuses to
socialize with the partner - denies access to the car
keeps partner pregnant - keeps partner/family in debt - keeps partner from working
- if partner employed; causes trouble at work site; tries to get partner fired - if
allowed to work; keeps partner under-employed or at a job that is disliked - controls
money/resources; everything is in abuser's name - refuses to work or share money -
accustoms partner to a lifestyle that cannot be sustained without abuser
What Is The Progression of Violence?
Pre-battering violence: verbal abuse, hitting objects, throwing objects, breaking
objects, and making threats. When abusers hit or break objects or make threats, almost
100% resort to battering.
Beginning levels: pushing, grabbing, restraining.
Moderate levels: slapping, pinching, kicking, pulling out clumps of hair.
Severe levels: choking, beating with objects (sticks, ball bats, bed slats, etc...),
use of weapons, and rape.
One in three women in a battering relationship are raped. There are two kinds of rape
in domestic violence -- one, with weapons; and two, she submits out of fear that if she
were to say “NO” he would get angry and beat her.
What Is Post Separation Violence?
Many, perhaps most people, believe that battered women will be safe once they separate
from the batterer. They also believe that women are free to leave abusers at any time.
However, leaving does not usually put an end to the violence. Batterers may, in fact,
escalate their violence to coerce a battered woman into reconciliation or to
retaliate for the battered woman’s perceived rejection or abandonment of the batterer.
Men, who believe they are entitled to a relationship with battered women or that
they “own” their female partner, view women’s departure as an ultimate betrayal
which justifies retaliation.
Because leaving may be dangerous -- dangerous from the point that the batterer learns
that the relationship may end through several years of separation -- does not mean
that the battered woman should stay. Cohabiting with the batterer is highly dangerous
both as violence usually increased in frequency and severity over time and as a
batterer may engage in preemptive strikes, fearing abandonment or anticipating
separation even before the battered woman reaches such a decision. Although leaving
may pose additional hazards, at least in the short run, ultimately a battered woman
can best achieve safety and freedom apart from the batterer.
This candle burns for all victims and survivors of Domestic
Violence. If your web page contains information about
Domestic Violence, please put it on your page too.
This page has a cloudy background which represents the abuse
far too many women suffer needlessly on a daily basis.
For more information on domestic violence
please click on this picture.