What is Domestic Abuse
Facts about domestic abuse
- An estimated 4.8 million women and girls from 16 to 75 years old experienced domestic abuse every year in the U.S alone
- There were 845,734 recorded domestic abuse-related crimes, an increase of 6% from the previous year.
- 1 in 3 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.
- At least two women, on average, are killed every week in domestic violence situations.
- The police receive over 100 calls relating to domestic abuse every hour.
- Nine out of ten high-risk victims experience multiple forms of abuse, including physical and sexual abuse, harassment and stalking and coercive control.
- A quarter of 13-18 year old girls experienced physical abuse in their own intimate partner relationships, and one-third sexual abuse.
Types of domestic abuse
Emotional and psychological abuse
Domestic abuse is perpetrated in many different ways and much of the domestic abuse that is carried out doesn’t involve physical violence. Often, this kind of abuse is confusing and a survivor might be unsure if what is happening is in fact abuse or that any one would take them seriously if they did decide to speak up.
Emotional abuse may include the techniques of manipulation, intimidation and humiliation, as well as threatening behaviour. A perpetrator might be belittling, jealous; they might accuse a survivor of flirting or cheating and they might prevent a survivor from seeing friends and family or going to work. They might place all blame on the survivor for any issues within the relationship including their own abuse.
Physical abuse is the most recognisable form of abuse. It can range from a slap or shove to a black eye, cut lip, or broken bone and in the most extreme cases it can result in death.
In many instances of abuse, the perpetrator will seek to isolate the survivor from their friends and family in order to gain increased control. They might even intimidate them into quitting their job. This is also a form of emotional abuse.
Sexual abuse can involve the use of force or threatening behaviour over a survivor into having sex, performing sexual acts they are not comfortable with, criticising their performance or coercing them into unsafe sex. A perpetrator might use sexual abuse to assert their authority and control.
Threats and intimidation
Threatening behaviour can be used to keep a survivor in perpetual fear and is a tool of power and control. Forms of intimation can be carried out in many ways. A perpetrator might threaten to hurt or kill the survivor; they might also threaten to hurt or kill themselves, the survivor’s children or loved ones. They might stand over a survivor and invade their personal space as a way of intimidation. They might harass and follow a survivor and they might destroy their things. There are many ways threatening and intimidating behaviour can be displayed and it is all domestic abuse.
One of the most powerful ways a perpetrator can control their partner is by using financial abuse. There are many different forms of financial abuse, but it might include the abuser taking their partners money, the prevention of work, placing all the bills or debts in the survivors name or monitoring how money is spent i.e. controlling the bank account or forcing the survivor to account for all money spent.
Stalking and harassment
Individual incidents might include a rude remark in the street, lingering outside the house, or persistent phone calls. These can also involve threats of violence, aggression, criminal damage and worse. This can go on for long periods of time. This can also include Cyber-stalking and online threats.