Domestic violence can be physical abuse, but it can also be verbal, emotional, sexual, psychological or financial abuse. Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is about one person using abuse, intimidation or threats of abuse to gain power and control over another person. Abusers may use e-mail and text messaging—up to hundreds of times a day—to harass, threaten or keep tabs on their victim. They may isolate their victim from friends and family. Abused individuals may be financially dependent on their abuser and have no access to money, making it even harder to leave.
Domestic violence statistics paint a grim picture. Each year, more than 4 million women are harmed by their husbands, boyfriends or partners. One in 10 men is a victim of domestic violence. Teen dating violence is on the rise. One in three adolescents reports being a victim of teen dating violence or receiving threats of abuse. One in four teens reports being victimized through technology. Learning to look past old stereotypes of who is an abuser and who is a victim can help you identify abuse in your own or someone else’s relationship so that you can seek help.