Domestic violence is when one partner in any relationship abuses the other. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional/psychological or a combination of all three. Domestic violence can happen at any age, and in all sorts of relationships. It can happen between married and unmarried people, by a man against a woman, by a woman against a man or in gay or lesbian relationships.

Some examples of domestic violence include:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Emotional or psychological abuse
  • Stalking
  • Cyberstalking
  • Financial abuse

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. While physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and or neglected. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavioral problems.

Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy a person’s self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make a person feel helpless and alone. An important step in preventing or stopping domestic violence is recognizing the warning signs. Some common signs a partner is being abusive in a relationship can be found in this link

The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically. One constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. Abusive behavior should never be accepted or tolerated. Everyone deserves to feel valued, respected, and safe.For anonymous, confidential help that is available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY), or visit If you are in immediate danger, call 911.