About Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors — including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion — used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.

For more general information about domestic violence, including potential warning signs for emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s information page: What is Domestic Violence? The Safe Space, a project of Break the Cycle, also provides more information about Types of Abuse commonly experienced by youth in dating relationships.

How do I know if I’m a victim?
The Power and Control Wheel [PDF] developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, MN is a helpful tool in illustrating the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors that can be used by someone to establish and maintain control over their partner. Below are additional resources and tools to help you evaluate the safety and health of your relationship.

What can I do to get help for myself?
Through the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE [7233] or TTY 1-800-787-3224), help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services. If you or someone you know is frightened about something in your relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (www.loveisrespect.org, 1-866-331-9474, or TTY 1-866-331-8453) provides help and resources, including confidential online support, for teens who are concerned about what is going on in their relationships.

To learn about nearby domestic violence shelters, victim advocacy programs, or other services for victims, contact your state’s domestic violence coalition. A complete list of up-to-date contact information for all domestic and sexual violence coalitions across the United States and its Territories can be found at www.VAWnet.org.