Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that will usually increase in frequency and severity over time. It is a crime. Therefore, the person experiencing domestic violence may be referred to as a victim. Some people prefer the term survivor to describe those who have experienced intimate partner violence.
Many times when we think of domestic violence, we think of the physical abuse. However, it also includes emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, such as:
Name calling, humiliation, put-downs
Monitoring or stalking
Blaming the victim for the abuse
Accusing the victim of having affairs
Isolation from family and friends
Controlling the money in the relationship
Anyone can experience domestic violence, and anyone can be an abuser, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, or age. Domestic violence is an equal opportunity destroyer.
What Causes Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a learned behavior that stems from one partner's desire for power and control. People use excuses for their violence such as stress, frustration, anger, alcohol or other drugs, and their childhood experiences. These factors appear in many relationships, and are not the cause of violent behavior.
If you have experienced domestic violence, please know that nothing you did caused the violence to start, no matter what your partner may tell you. You cannot change your behavior to stop the violence. You cannot change your partner's behavior, either.
The person being abusive has to make the decision to stop. It may be hard for them to change their behavior on their own. A batterer's intervention group is the most appropriate referral for those who have been abusive in their relationships.
CARE believes you have the power to make decisions about where to go from here. We will be here to aid you in that process.
If you have experienced domestic violence and need to talk to someone, please contact the CARE office by phone 517-272-7436 or email.