Domestic Violence (DV) is a pattern of aggressive and intimidating behaviors used to control current and former intimate partners. DV is based on one person exerting power and control over another through a multitude of tactics.
Types of Domestic Violence:
Verbal / Emotional: may include name calling, threats, yelling, intimidation, isolation, and silent treatment.
Financial: may include direct or indirect domination of finances.
Physical: may include restraint, slapping, pushing, forcing consumption of or withholding medication, aggravated assault, and intentional damage to property.
Sexual: may include forced sexual activity, demeaning sexual names, grabbing, threats of infidelity, and coerced sexual contact.
The methods abusers use to maintain power and control can take a variety of forms. However, there is one constant in abusive relationships and that is the Cycle of Abuse. Phases of the cycle vary in length of time and severity but continue to follow the same pattern.
Honeymoon – Even the most abusive relationships start with the perception of love and acts of kindness. Unfortunately, in abusive relationships this is the beginning of manipulation and tactics to gain control. Throughout the cycle, the honeymoon phase is returned to in attempt to keep the partner in the relationship and can be shown with promises of change, apologies, periods of calm, and statements that minimize the incident.
Tension – This phase is characterized by rising tensions, feeling like “walking on eggshells”, fear, anxiety Verbal arguments, intimidation, or demeaning statements are some examples.
Explosion – An incident occurs; verbal or emotional abusive attack, threats of violence, items destroyed, or a physical or a sexual assault are some examples.