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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.

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
  • Forces sexual acts
  • Pushes, shoves, spits, pinches, slaps, hits, kicks or grabs
  • Damages your personal property

What is Economic abuse?

Economic Abuse is an abuser’s distinct tactics to control a partner’s ability to acquire, access, and maintain economic resources, to hinder their economic self-sufficiency, and to damage their economic self-efficacy. Financial/Economic abuse is present in 99% of domestic violence cases.

The Center on Violence Against Women and Children and the School of Social Work at Rutgers University released this factsheet to demonstrate the impact of economic abuse in relationships.

Fact Sheet

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact including verbal, emotional, and physical acts. Sexual assault can be unwanted sexual comments, touching, and/or penetration of any part of the body.

Rape is among the most under-reported crimes in America. Sexual assault happens to 1 in 4 females in Colorado and 1 in 8 males. Read more statistics here and here.

Anyone can be a victim (and a survivor) of Sexual Assault regardless of gender age, race, class, education, sexual orientation, gender expression, socio-economic status or other defining characteristics.

More Info

TESSA provides all services in absolute confidentiality. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, are in an abusive relationship, or need help, please contact us.

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Some Sobering Statistics


Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (DVSA) are prevalent and devastating violent crimes faced daily in our community – by family, friends, neighbors, and peers. The following local, state, and national statistics illustrate the incredible need for victim services specifically designed to address the trauma left in the wake of DVSA.

Domestic Violence incident reports to Colorado Bureau
Domestic Violence arrests every year
victims per minute in the United States
TESSA is the sole agency in El Paso County for Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault survivors