Sidebar: Signs of Domestic Violence

June 27, 2008
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A person doesn’t need a black eye or other visible physical injury to be a victim of domestic violence.

The abuse can take many different forms, including physical, sexual, economic, emotional and psychological abuse, and is often a pattern of these behaviors. Domestic violence is a crime.

“Domestic violence… is a pattern of behavior where one person tries to control the thoughts, beliefs or actions of a partner…,” according to Jane Doe Inc.’s web site. “While the violence may cause injury, it does not have to be physical.”

Some common examples of abusive behaviors, taken from a variety of web sites, are seen in an intimate partner who:

• won’t accept breaking up.

• tries to control the person (time, money and/or movements); is bossy.

• is scary; makes threats; displays weapon(s).

• loses temper easily, yells, argues frequently.

• opposes the person’s getting medical care and/or counseling.

• blames the person when they mistreat them; says the person deserves it or
did something wrong.

• has hit, pushed, choked, grabbed, restrained, confined, burned, kicked, blocked, stabbed, loomed over; gotten “in the person’s face;” pulled hair; driven recklessly with person in the car; or any similar physical control or intimidation tactic.

• stalks the person (follows the person places they go and/or calls, e-mails or text messages frequently to check on the person and their activities).

• harms or threatens to harm the person’s loved ones.

• keeps the person isolated from friends, family members.

• is extremely jealous and possessive.

• pressures the person for sex; forces the person to have sex.

• damages, hides or steals the person’s possessions.

• calls the person names; harms their self-worth; twists facts; lies; insults; humiliates; says or implies the person is losing their mind.

• threatens to “out” a gay or lesbian person to those who don’t know.

• threatens to get an immigrant deported.

Sandra Storey

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