If you're experiencing abuse and need help now, one place to start is the national domestic violence hotline.
Call 800-799-7233 (TTY 800-787-3224), text "START" to 88788, or visit www.thehotline.org
Domestic violence affects a huge number of people, and it shows up in many different ways. To end domestic violence, we first have to understand what it is.
Calling a partner names – Saying a partner never does anything right • Mocking a partner's appearance or abilities • Gaslighting a partner • Undermining a partner’s confidence
• Slapping or hitting a partner • Choking or strangling a partner • Driving recklessly with a partner • Threatening physical abuse, whether or not it actually happens
• Taking out loans in a partner’s name without their knowledge • Giving a partner an "allowance" • Taking away a paycheck • Damaging a partner’s property • Threatening a partner’s employment
• Tracking a partner using a cellphone, camera, or other device • Requiring a partner share their passwords • Reading a partner’s private communications without their knowledge or against their wishes
• Forcing or pressuring a partner to commit sexual acts they aren’t comfortable with • Requiring a partner to share explicit photographs or videos • Sharing explicit imagery of a partner without their permission
• Threatening to call the police or child protective services on a partner • Getting a partner evicted from their home • Threatening to call immigration on a partner, or getting them deported
• Making a partner feel they need permission to get health care • Demanding a partner undergo certain medical procedures • Sabotaging birth control or forcing a partner to use it
• Keeping a partner isolated from family and friends • Preventing a partner from leaving the home • Taking away a partner’s house keys, car keys, cellphone, etc.
When we talk about domestic violence, we can do it without forcing survivors to relive their trauma:
Chances are, you or someone you know has experienced or will experience domestic violence.
Because of racism, and gender and economic inequities, the impacts of domestic violence are even greater in communities of color.
The more we share what we learn about domestic violence, the closer we get to solving it.
Domestic violence may seem like a problem between individuals. But, the more a society accepts violence and sexism, the more domestic violence rates go up. What we collectively believe to be "normal" shapes the real world around us.
Domestic violence has deep roots in the structures and history of our society. Learning about these root causes—racism, gender inequity and economic inequity—can help us understand the complex issue of domestic violence more fully.
At some point in our lives, we learn to use violence in relationships, but it doesn't have to be that way. Domestic violence isn’t a character trait, it’s a learned behavior—and it can be unlearned through healing work.
How do you think relationships are supposed to work? What ideas do you have about how people of different genders should behave? Exploring our beliefs and where we’ve learned them is the first step in changing unhealthy patterns. Everyone has room to grow. What do you need in order to become healthier in your relationships?