Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior to gain control of an intimate partner.  It also includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.


  • Act jealous or possessive (accuse you of having affairs)?
  • Put down your accomplishments or goals? Name call?
  • Tell you that you are nothing without him?
  • Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?
  • Blame you for how he feels or acts?
  • Treat you roughly – grab, push, pinch, hold you down, shove or hit you?
  • Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?
  • Make you feel like there “is no way out” of the relationship?
  • Try to keep you from leaving after a fight?
  • Physically hurt you or your children?
  • Belittle you or humiliate you (when you are alone/in front of others?)
  • Threaten to seriously harm you, children or pets?
  • Tell you he/she can’t live without you?
  • Keep you away from your family or friends?
  • Insist on you accounting for every minute of your time? Checks up on you?
  • Insist on you accounting for every penny you spend?
  • Break things or throw things at you?
  • Ever tell you that you will never leave him/her?
  • Acts like his/her hurting you is your fault?
  • Force you to have sex?
  • Threaten to hurt himself/herself?
  • Threaten to hurt you?
  • Threaten you with a weapon?
  • Threaten to kill you?
  • Talk about how or when he/she would kill you?

Answering “yes” to five or more indicates a high risk.
Answering “yes” to ANY of last five questions indicates extreme high risk.


  • Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?
  • Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?
  • Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?
  • Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?
  • Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?
  • Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?
  • Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?

Domestic Violence escalates. It often begins with behaviors like threats, name calling. violence in her presence (such as punching a fist through a wall), and/or damage to objects or pets. It may escalate to restraining, pushing, slapping, and/or pinching. The battering may include punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault, tripping, throwing. Finally, it may become life threatening with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of weapons.