Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?


Domestic abuse refers to the use of violence against a family member or assaultive behavior between two intimate partners.

There are four forms of domestic violence:

1. Physical(Personal): Hitting, kicking, pulling hair, strangulation, etc.
2. Physical(Property): Destruction of property, pets, and other items.
3. Psychological(Emotional): Threats of suicide, threats, insults and harassment, etc.
4. Sexual: Forcing sexual acts on a partner or family member against his or her will.

Myths and Facts About Battering

Victims of battering provoke violence by pushing the perpetrator beyond the breaking point.
Studies show that victims of battering do not provoke violence.  Batterers lose self-control because of their own internal reason, not because of what their partner did or didn't do.

It is easy for battered women to leave their abuser.
Women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of being killed than those who stay.


Why Do Women Stay?


For people outside of the relationship it can be hard to understand why women "don't just leave" their abusive relationships.  On average, an abused woman will leave their partner 6-8 times.
Here are some of the reasons why they stay and/or come back:


  • Economic dependence.  How can she support herself and the children?
  • Fear of greater physical danger if she tries to leave or fear of being hunted down and suffering a worse beating than before.
  • Survival.  Fear that her partner will follow her and kill her if she leaves, often based on real threats by her partner.
  • Fear of emotional damage on the children and/or fear of losing custody of the children based on the abusers remarks.
  • Fear of the unknown, where to go, who to turn to, what happens next.
  • Wanting to help.  "If I stay I can help him get better."
  • Denial. "It's really not that bad. Other people have it worse."
  • Love. Often the abuser is quite lovable when he is not being abusive, especially during the "honeymoon" stage which she remembers him being.
  • False hope. "He is starting to do things that I have asked him to do" i.e counseling, anger management, etc.
  • Guilt.  She believes that the violence is caused through some inadequecy of her own.


For more information on domestic abuse, what you can do to protect yourself or what you can do to help someone, please see these helpful links or call us at 218-285-7220.

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