Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that seeks to control, coerce or exert power over a spouse, partner, girl/boyfriend or family member. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, financial and structural abuse.
It is a learned behavior and is not caused by alcohol or drug abuse, mental illness, anger management etc. These are just excuses and can often lead to further harmful stereotyping of people with mental illness.
Domestic violence impacts people regardless of age, class, caste, gender or religion. It is inaccurate and harmful to classify domestic violence as something that happens in working class homes or due to a lack of education.
It is PCVC’s experience that people of all backgrounds face domestic violence. Response to help seeking behavior and access and resources available vary and this is an inequity that needs to be corrected by both institutions and civil society organizations.
Women and queer individuals are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence and pay the price for it with a loss in access and mobility, education and career, mental and physical health. Queer individuals are exceptionally vulnerable to domestic violence due to a lack of acceptance of their identities by family, community and institutional structures which are all sites of violence against them.
Dating violence is controlling, aggressive and abusive behavior by one member of an intimate, un-married romantic relationship towards another. It can include physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse. It can include boyfriends, girlfriends, live-in partners and can happen in straight or queer relationships.
Signs that you may be in a relationship with an abusive partner:
Stalking is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by repeated, unwanted contact, harassment, surveillance and monitoring of an individual that causes uncertainty and fear. Stalkers can be people one knows very well or complete strangers. Women are more vulnerable to being stalked and they are most often stalked by ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, ex-partners, men who are persistently propositioning them and cannot take no for an answer etc.
If you recognize any of these signs, feel vulnerable and unsafe in public or in your home, feel watched at all times, feel stressed, experience loss of appetite and sleep etc, please seek help immediately. Stalking is a high-risk behavior that requires immediate intervention to ensure you safety.
The victim usually does something to provoke the violence.
Regardless of the situation, the use of violence in a relationship is never acceptable or justifiable. There is NO EXCUSE for domestic violence.