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What does it look like?

Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence, includes behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or transsexual; living together, separated, or dating.

Examples of controlling behaviors include:

Emotional Control

  • Intimidating a partner
  • Accusing a partner of having other relationships
  • Threatening a partner, children, family members, or pets
  • Always putting a partner down or making him/her feel bad
  • Keeping a partner from contacting friends and family

Verbal Control

  • Accusing and blaming a partner
  • Name calling
  • Hiding abuse as a joke
  • Denying anger or abuse
  • Threatening to commit suicide to convince a partner to do something

Financial Control

  • Taking a partner’s ID, paycheck, money, credit cards, or property without permission
  • Bothering a partner at work to negatively impact a job
  • Denying basic needs of life to a partner and/or children

Physical Control

  • Pushing, hitting, slapping, choking, kicking, or biting
  • Damaging property
  • Forcing a partner to have sex or to do sexual acts she or he does not want or like
  • Refusing to leave or allowing someone to leave