Healthy relationships
Healthy relationships

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – a time to educate the public about this dangerous threat that impacts 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men. But what exactly is domestic violence? It’s all about one person in a relationship behaving abusively and manipulatively against their partner. They do this to gain power and control over them.  Domestic violence is sometimes referred to as intimate partner violence and relationship abuse.  

Domestic violence can occur in many forms, including:

•             Physical: hitting, punching, kicking, strangulation, burning, damaging personal property

•             Emotional: insulting, blaming partner for everything, shaming, intimidating, isolating, stalking

•             Sexual: pressuring a partner to have sex, sabotaging birth control, human trafficking, having sex with a partner when they are unconscious or afraid to say no

•             Spiritual: using a partner’s spiritual beliefs to manipulate them, using religious texts to excuse abusive behaviors

•             Financial: controlling all the money in the relationship, damaging a partner’s credit score, harassing a partner at their workplace

•             Digital: hacking into a partner’s email account, monitoring a partner’s social media accounts, tracking a partner’s location

Abuse can take many forms, and the above examples are not an exhaustive list of abusive behaviors.

Often, the abuse will begin subtly and grow more severe. At the same time, the perpetrator usually isolates their partner from family, friends and support networks. This makes it difficult to reach out for help.

Domestic violence is dangerous and can lead to death. It affects people of all cultures, religions, ages, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds and income levels.

It is also very common. Everyone knows someone who has experienced relationship abuse. That’s why it’s so important to talk about this issue. The more our community is aware of domestic violence, the better prepared we will be to help loved ones who are experiencing it.

Want to learn more? Visit our website at And join us next month for an overview of the local resources available for people experiencing domestic violence.

This is the first in a monthly series by Women Against Abuse that will share information about domestic violence, the local resources that are available, and how to be an advocate for healthy relationships in your family.


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