Domestic Violence 101

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors, including threats and/or the use of physical violence, used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. Domestic Violence may include emotional abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.  Emotional and verbal abuse can be just as debilitating as physical and sexual abuse, instill fear, and firmly place the perpetrator in a role of intimidation and control in the relationship. 

Domestic violence occurs in 1 in 6 households. Find more statistics here.  

Ways an Abuser Behaves in a Relationship:

  • Exhibits controlling behavior
  • Displays unfounded jealousy
  • Has a volatile temper
  • Constantly criticizes
  • Gives orders
  • Has sudden changes in mood
  • Blames others for problems
  • Isolates you from friends and family
  • Pushes, shoves, spits, pinches, slaps, hits, kicks or grabs
  • Damages your personal property
  • Forces sexual acts

If you are afraid in your relationship, the image below may illustrate the dynamics you are experiencing (click on the picture to view).

Cycle of Violence versus Nonviolence

TESSA provides all services in absolute confidentiality. If you are in an abusive relationship and want help, please contact us.


Love is Respect provides peer mentors 24/7 online, by text and by phone for youth and young adults.


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