What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not, any sexual orientation, living together, separated or dating. Parties in the relationship could also be immediate family members or distant relatives.
The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. Power and control can be exerted through physical, verbal, psychological, economic and sexual abuse. It may involve intimidating and/or frightening someone through threats or beating and may occur repeatedly, over a period of time, or just once.
Usually there is a pattern to the violence. This pattern is called the cycle of violence and it has three distinctive parts:
First is the tension building phase. In this phase, the abuser gets edgy and tension begins to build up. This is where the victim may feel like she/ he is walking on egg shells.
Second is the explosion phase where the abuse occurs.
Third is the honeymoon phase. The perpetrator may be sorry or act like nothing happened; but is still interested in making up and may even promise never to do it again. However, the tension almost always starts to build again, thus continuing the cycle indefinitely.
You don’t need to experience physical violence to be abused. Often the psychological abuse can leave you fearful, helpless, and powerless to act on your own behalf. A person who is abused can be rich, poor, married, divorced, single, from all ethnic backgrounds and economic levels. A person who is being abused can be able-bodied or disabled. A person who is abused can identify with any gender or sexual orientation. If you or someone you love is in an abusive or violent relationship, you are not alone.
Peace Over Violence offers services to assist survivors who are in an abusive relationship. We work collaboratively with law enforcement, medical personnel, and other agencies to ensure safe and appropriate services and assist survivors navigate through the different systems. Our trained counselor/advocates respond to local hospitals and police stations in our service area 24 hours 7 days a week and provide crisis intervention, support, advocacy, assistance with shelter placement, and assistance with referrals to services.