What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior exhibited by one person towards another between whom there is a relationship. Domestic violence is characterized by the misuse of power and control. It includes physical, emotional, psychological, verbal, sexual, and economic abuse. Legally, domestic violence includes a broad spectrum of relationships ñ including violence between siblings, children and parents, roommates, caretakers, etc.
Domestic violence is not a ìmomentary loss of temper,î but an ongoing technique used by the batterer to enforce control through the use of fear. The batterer makes a conscious decision.
One in four women and one in three pregnant women will experience domestic violence. In 2012, DC's Metropolitan Police Department received more than 31,800 domestic violence related 911 calls - 1 call every 17 minutes. That doesn't include victims who were too scared, injured, or worse to pick up the phone.
If you are afraid of your partner or spouse, you are not alone. Get help now. Free and confidential help is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at 202-529-5991.
Remember, the abuse is NOT your fault, and leaving is never easy. We understand that special populations, including immigrants, the GLBTQ community, and teens face additional challenges to escaping abuse. We serve all victims on our 24-hour hotline, regardless of sexual orientation, language barriers, gender, or immigration status.