Love Is Not Abuse

Did you know? 

Every nine seconds a woman is beaten in the United States. . .

10 million people a year are physically abused by an intimate partner . . .

302 Related Domestic Violence Fatalities this year. . .

20,000 calls are placed a day to Domestic Violence Hotlines . . .

20% of women in the United States Have Been Raped. . .

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of hurtful behavior used by one partner to systematically control and overpower the other.  There are varying forms of intimate partner violence and though the causal nature may be the same, the manifestation of it can look different in various relationships. 

Teen dating violence is the use of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal force by one dating partner towards the other. Abuse can cause injury and even death but it doesn’t have to be physical. It can take many different forms including threats, constant text messaging or instant messaging, insults, isolation from family and friends, sexual abuse, name-calling, emotional abuse and controlling a partner’s behavior and appearance.

Typically, abusers become violent or hurtful out of their strong desire to have complete control.  However, it can sometimes be challenging for people to realize when they are a part of an abusive relationship.  Below are some common warning signs of intimate partner violence.

Does your partner…

  • make you afraid of them?
  • make fun of you in front of your family or friends?
  • put down your accomplishments or goals?
  • make you feel like you can’t make decisions?
  • use force or threats to make you do what he/she wants?
  • tell you that you are nothing without him/her?
  • treat you roughly – grab, push, shove or hit you?
  • constantly call or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?
  • blame you for how he/she feels or acts?
  • prevent you from doing things you would like?
  • deny your basic needs such as food or medical assistance?
  • call you bad and hurtful names?
  • try to control what you do, who you see and when?

Below is a list of the most common forms of domestic violence. . .  

Economic Abuse Economic abuse is the purposeful controlling of resources to make the victim financially limited. 

Physical Abuse Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury or harm. 

Psychological Abuse Psychological abuse is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally, and/or to exert control over another person.  

Sexual Abuse Sexual violence is any sort of non-consensual sexual contact, whether merely attempted or fully completed.  It also qualifies as sexual abuse if the victim is not entirely aware, due to being voluntarily or involuntarily intoxicated or drugged.

Safety Planning

If you have been in an abusive relationship, having a safety plan can be crucial to your well-being.  

For more information:

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Partnership Against Domestic Violence

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

National Dating Abuse Helpline





Ellen Pierce