YES it is and it is called Economic Abuse. When the general public thinks about domestic violence, they usually think in terms of physical assault that results in visible injuries to the victim. This is only one type of abuse. There are several categories of abusive behavior, each of which has its own devastating consequences. Lethality involved with physical abuse may place the victim at higher risk, but the long term destruction of personhood that accompanies the other forms of abuse is significant and cannot be minimized. Types of Abuse: - Control - Physical Abuse - Sexual Abuse - Emotion Abuse & Intimidation - Isolation - Verbal Abuse: Coercion, Threats, & Blame - Using Male Privilege - Economic Abuse
Many children exposed to violence in the home are also victims of physical abuse. Children who witness domestic violence or are victims of abuse themselves are at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health problems. Children who witness violence between parents may also be at greater risk of being violent in their future relationships. If you are a parent who is experiencing abuse, it can be difficult to know how to protect your child
Victims can be from any socio-economic group, education level, gender or ethnicity. They can be teens or they can be elderly. Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. The majority (85%) of victims are female who are abused by male partners 1 . And while victims can be from any walk of life, research shows that racial and ethnic minority women and men continue to bear a relatively heavier burden of sexual violence, stalking, and domestic violence .
Yes. While some male victims of domestic violence are abused by female partners, the overwhelming majority of male victims are abused by other men. Learn more from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s handout, Male Victims of Violence.
As with victims, abusers can come from any walk of life – rich, poor, young, or old, and any gender, background or ethnicity.
Abusers don’t announce their behavior at the start of a relationship; things would never progress beyond the first date! But there are some common traits shared by many abusers. They may be charming, jealous, controlling, and manipulative and they may blame others for their problems. They may rush into a relationship (“sweep you off your feet” or proclaim “love at first sight”) and insist that you spend all your time with them. These are “red flags,” but there are often no signs at all.
Not necessarily. One study showed that boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. But it’s not a guarantee. There are boys who are abusive as adults but never witnessed it in the home, and others who witnessed it in the home but decided they were not going to repeat that behavior. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and protective or resiliency factors all influence beliefs and behaviors as do other factors such as peers, the media, and social norms. Regarding victims, there is no reliable research that shows that girls who witness violence in the home seek out abusive partners as adults, but it is possible they may stay in a relationship with an abusive partner longer than someone who was not a child witness.
No. Some studies show that women are as violent as men, or that they initiate violence as much as men do. However, these studies don’t take into account the intensity of the violence, the severity of the injuries or the impact on the victim. It’s important to understand the distinctions between domestic abuse (coercive controlling violence), responsive violence, and fights (situational couple violence).
There are many reasons a victim of domestic violence may stay in the relationship for some time. The abuser may have threatened to hurt the victim, the children, pets or themselves if the victim leaves. Domestic violence victims often feel like the abuse is their problem and their fault, and that they are responsible for fixing the relationship. They may not realize they’re being abused if the abuse isn’t physical (and even if it is). They may be embarrassed or ashamed by what has happened to them. They may feel that they can’t break their wedding vows or they might feel restricted by community or religious expectations. The victim may still love the abuser; they just want the abuse to stop. (And the abuser may promise it’ll never happen again.) They may have limited financial resources and/or social supports to assist them with the expense and the logistics of starting over. They may be reluctant to create upheaval in their children’s lives. Victims may be afraid that the abuser will fight for sole custody of their children. Often, victims’ fears are based on direct threats made by the abuser. And victims might be afraid to leave because abuse can get much worse after a victim leaves, when the abuser realizes they are losing control. Abusers often stalk their victims post-separation. Many domestic homicides take place during or after a victim has left the relationship.
Our crisis line is a resource for victims, family members, friends and others. The crisis line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Staff is trained and can provide a variety of services including crisis intervention, supportive services, and information and referral services. Additional resources available in most communities include: TESSA another domestic violence program, police, probation, Family Court, local civil legal services, local Department of Social Services (includes Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services), DHS, and local Victim Assistance Programs.
Domestic violence programs offer 24-hour hotlines, confidential counseling and emergency housing (shelter) for domestic violence victims and their children. You don’t have to stay in a domestic violence shelter to get help. Programs may also offer support groups, services for children and many other services that can help victims.