Learn About DV

The underlying cause of Domestic Violence is one person’s need to gain power over, and to control, the partner — and the belief that there is a right to exercise and maintain that power and control by whatever means necessary.

Early in a relationship subtle means of control may not look like control at all. A request that his girlfriend not spend so much time with her friends so that she has more time for him may seem reasonable and even desirable to her. Over time, the abuser will increase the number of controlling behaviors and the severity of control measures used until some victims find themselves in life-threatening situations.

Children in families where there is partner abuse are affected by the adults’ behaviors. They feel unprotected and often lack the emotional attention they need from their parents. They may seem to be more loyal to their father than mother because they need to feel the protection of the person in the family whom they perceive as having power.

People often think as domestic violence of physical abuse, but the reality is that domestic violence is also :

•    Isolation and restricting freedom
•    Intimidation
•    Sexual abuse
•    Emotional and verbal abuse
•    The use of male privilege
•    In same sex relationships, threats of “outing” to family, friends and/or co-workers

All of these involve the abuser forcing his/her partner to be dependent; thus lowering the person’s own personal power and self-esteem.