Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors that may include inflicted physical injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, deprivation, intimidation and threats.  These behaviors are perpetrated by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship with an adult or adolescent, and are aimed at establishing control by one partner over the other, (as defined by the Family Violence Prevention Fund).

What is Abuse?

Abuse can be:

  • Hitting, threatening gestures, use of a weapon
  • Imposing fear by looks/gestures, destroying possessions
  • Limiting contact with family and friends, monitoring calls
  • Playing mind games, exploiting immigration status
  • Controlling all money, creating economic dependency
  • Name calling, degrading remarks
  • Preventing use of birth control or safe sex, being forceful
  • Giving commands, using roles to impose authority (religion, gender, culture)

What is Bullying?

Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself.

  • Punching, shoving, and other acts that hurt people physically
  • Spreading bad rumors about people
  • Keeping certain people out of a "group"
  • Teasing people in a mean way
  • Getting certain people to "gang up" on others

What is Cyber Bullying?

Bullying can also happen online or electronically.  Cyber bullying is when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones, or other cyber technology.  This can include:

  • Sending mean text, email, or instant messages
  • Posting nasty pictures or messages about others in blogs or on Web sites
  • Using someone else's user name to spread rumors or lies about someone

  • It affects all groups, cultures, socioeconomic status, education levels.
  • It isolates, lowers self worth & ability to make personal choices.
  • It is not a private family matter.
  • Exposure traumatizes children; it destroys their ability to feel safe.
  • Physical and sexual violence is a crime.
  • To end it, everyone must be a part of the solution.


  • In recent years there have been almost 200 deaths related to domestic violence ranging in age from 18 months to 89.
  • It is now known that bullying can cause serious long term effects including anxiety, depression, and poor school performance.
  • Domestic violence knows no boundaries.  Individuals of all religions, races, occupations, income levels, ages, and sexual orientations are battered by spouses, lovers and partners.
  • Men can also be victims of domestic violence.
  • In general, 70% of men who abuse their female partners also abuse their children.
  • Children from violent families can provide detailed accounts of abusive incidents their parents never realized they had witnessed.
  • Boys who witness family violence are more likely to batter their female partners as adults than boys raised in non-violent homes.
  • Girls who witness their mothers being abused have a higher rate of being battered as adults.

Domestic Violence: The Facts

What is Domestic Violence?