Crossroad Women and Family Services, Inc.
Post Office Box 2421, Kingston, NY 12402
Understanding Domestic Family Violence
What is domestic violence? Domestic violence also called battering, can be verbal, emotional and /or physical. Verbal abuse involves insults, name calling, or verbal harassment beyond normal arguing. Emotional abuse includes damaging an individuals’ self esteem, or restricting one’s personal freedom.
Physical abuse involves pushing, hitting, kicking, punching, threats and sometimes the use of weapons. The victim and the abuser are in a close relationship, i.e. husband and wife, dating couples, family members, or people living together.
Domestic violence is a crime. It is defined as a pattern of coercive tactics, which can include psychological and emotional, social, financial, physical and sexual abuse, perpetrated by a family or household member, a boyfriend or significant other, with the goal of establishing or maintaining power and control over the victim. Domestic violence can happen to anyone
Forms of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can take many forms and can happen occasionally or all the time. Examples of the different forms of domestic violence are outlined below.
Psychological and Emotional Abuse
This is when you are told, for example, that you are ugly, fat, hopeless, stupid, a bad mother, etc. It can also be if your partner emotionally blackmails you, for example, by saying, “If you really love me you would...”
This is when you are not allowed to see the people you want to see, or when you don't see your family or friends because you decide it isn't worth all the arguments.
This is when you are not given enough money to feed and clothe yourself or your children and/or when you get no money for paying bills but are expected to make ends meet. It is also when your partner forces you to hand over your money.
This is when you are pushed, shoved, slapped, hit, punched, or kicked or things are used as weapons against you. This is the most obvious form of domestic violence.
This is when you are pressured or forced to participate in any sexual activity against your will.
The Cycle of Violence
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if someone is in an abusive relationship. Furthermore, it can be just as difficult for a victim to realize that she is in an abusive relationship. Those who are abused and those who abuse come from all the different backgrounds. Most people experiencing relationship violence do not tell others about it. So how would you know?
Here are some signs to look for:
He puts her down by calling her names, constantly criticizing her, provoking public or private humiliation, or making her feel crazy.
Bruises and Injuries.
She often has bruises and injuries that she can't explain or makes weak excuses for them.
He has threatened to hurt her, her children, family members, friends or pets. He blames her and other people for everything, and gets angry in a way that scares her or other people.
He checks up on her constantly by asking about her whereabouts, calling her at work all day, checking her car mileage, and listening to her phone calls. He manages all the finances and monitors her spending.
He acts jealous or possessive. He accuses her of flirting or having affairs.
He tells her not to see certain friends or family members, keeps her away from school or work and makes her stay home when she wants to go out.
She seems to be on the edge or seems to be fearful. Or, she becomes quiet when her husband or boyfriend is around.
Behavior of the Children.
The children frequently get into trouble at school or are quiet and withdrawn and don't get along with the other children.
Why Do Women Stay?
A woman's reasons for staying in an abusive relationship are complex. Often there are many aspects to the relationship that do not allow the woman to leave. Most often, she is afraid and fears for the safety of herself and her children. Some reasons women don't leave:
The Effect of Domestic Violence on Children
Studies show that domestic violence homicides increase by 75% when a woman tries to leave or end an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, domestic violence homicides often happen after a woman leaves her abuser, so leaving doesn't always mean safety. We are not sharing this information to cause fear. We care about you and want you to be aware of the risks involved and understand the importance of planning for safety. If you or someone you know is planning on leaving an abusive relationship or taking any legal or financial steps to separate, safety planning is critical to you and your families health and well-being.
We hope that this information can be of assistance to you. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to Email us at [email protected]