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What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control). It is important to remember that the abuse is not the victim’s fault and there is help for those who are affected by domestic violence.

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What resources are available for victims?

Information and support is available for victims of abuse, their friends and family. If you are in danger, call 911, a local hotline, or a national hotline. While only the person using abusive behavior can stop the abuse, a survivor does have options in how they respond to the dangers they're being exposed to. Whether they're thinking of staying or leaving, survivors of domestic violence can explore options through a support group or anonymous calls to

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Why do victims sometimes return to or stay with abusers?

This is an understandable question because we are concerned for people who are being mistreated. At the same time, the better question is "Why does the abuser continue to hurt someone he claims to care about?" While this can be confusing for friends and family, the bottom line is that on balance, the survivor, who is the expert on her situation, feels that this is the safest option for herself and her children. As friends

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Do abusers show any warning signs?

There is no way to spot an abuser in a crowd because they come from all walks of life. There is no typical demographic or psychological profile for an abuser. They do, however, engage in similar behaviors. Some of the subtle warning signs include: They may insist on moving too quickly into a relationship. They can be very charming and may seem too good to be true. They might insist that their partner stop participating

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Is it possible for abusers to change?

Yes, but they must make the choice to change. It’s not easy for an abuser to stop abusive behavior, and it requires a serious commitment to demonstrating changed attitudes and behaviors. Sometimes an abuser stops the physical violence, but continues to employ other forms of abuse – emotional, sexual, or financial. Some abusers are able to exert complete control over a victim’s every action without using violence or only using subtle threats of violence. All types of abuse

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Are men victims of domestic violence?

Yes, men are sometimes the victim of domestic violence. Male victims also receive free and confidential advocacy and support through domestic violence programs around the state. Abuse stems from choices not biology. However, because of gender socialization, men are much more likely to engage in violence and controlling behavior. Most of the people who seek services at DV programs are women who are being abused by men, and in fact, domestic violence an epidemic health

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What can I do to help?

Acknowledge that survivors are their own best experts and provide them with resources and support. Speak out against domestic violence. The problem will continue until society stands up with one resounding voice and says, “No more!” Challenge victim-blaming statements when you hear them. Victim-blaming attitudes shame the survivor and create barriers to coming forward and reporting the abuse. Teach  your children about what healthy relationships look like by example and by talking about how to