New Choices | Domestic Violence
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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse that happens in a personal relationship. It occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to take control over their partner.


Am I Being Abused?

Victims of domestic abuse or violence may be men or women, and abuse may occur during a relationship, while the couple is breaking up, or after the relationship has ended.

Types of Domestic Violence and Abuse

  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse


  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse


  • Economic or Financial Abuse

Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Domestic violence or sexual violence may occur without warning. Sometimes, however, there may be signs or red flags that serve as warnings that the relationship is abusive.

Does your partner:

  • Push, slap hit, choke, bite, kick or restrain you?
  • Threaten you, your children, your family members, your pets or friends?
  • Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
  • Put you down or make you feel bad about yourself?
  • Keep or take your paycheck?
  • Threaten suicide to get you to do something?
  • Force you to have sex or perform sexual acts that you don’t want or like?

Abusive Behaviors

Abuse is far more than a black eye. It involves a wide array of mental, emotional and non-physical assaults. Domestic violence often goes unreported due to societal stigmas that inhibit victims from disclosing their abuse. Victims may be too ashamed or frightened to admit they are being abused – even to close friends and family.


Or they may not see themselves as victims at all. They may think that domestic violence is defined solely as physical abuse. However, there are many types of domestic abuse.


Recognizing abuse is the key to understanding if you or someone you know is being abused. If your partner repeatedly uses one or more of the following to control you or someone you know, seek help.

Uses Intimidation
  • Makes threatening looks, actions or gestures
  • Smashes things in front of you and/or destroys your things
  • Hurts your pets
  • Displays weapons
Uses Emotional Abuse
  • Humiliates you by using insults, name-calling, shaming and public humiliation
  • Plays mind games in an effort to make you think your crazy
  • Makes you feel guilty about the abuse
Uses Isolation
  • Finds a way to increase your dependence on him/her by limiting your outside involvements/activities
  • Controls what you do, who you see and talk to, what you read, and where you go
  • Uses jealousy as an excuse to justify abusive behaviors
Minimizes, Denying and Blaming
  • Makes light of the abuse or denies that it has occurred
  • Shifts responsibility for the abuse on to you
  • Makes excuses for inexcusable behavior
Uses Children Against You
  • Makes you feel guilty for involving children
  • Threatens to take children away
  • Uses visitation time to harass you
  • Uses children to relay messages
Uses Privilege
  • Treats you like a child, a servant or his/her possession
  • Expects you to obey him/her without question
  • Acts like the “King of the Castle”
Uses Economic Abuse
  • Takes your money, makes you ask for money or gives you an allowance
  • Prevents you from getting or keeping a job
  • Prevents your knowledge of or access to family income
Uses Coercion or Threats
  • Threatens to hurt you or your child, your pets, your family or friends
  • Threatens to commit suicide or report you to Child Protective Services
  • Forces you to do illegal things
  • Making you drop charges against him/her

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, several or all, we are here to help.

If you are involved in a relationship where you are being hurt or abused remember:

  • If it was once, it will likely happen again
  • It is not your fault
  • Don’t minimize how you feel
  • People who love you, shouldn’t hurt you

Domestic Violence doesn’t just stop when they get sober, get married, have a baby or over time.

Plan for your safety. Call 937-498-7261, let’s talk.


Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.


19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.


1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year (90% are eyewitnesses).

How to Help?

Few things can be more devastating than hearing the story of someone close to you being abused or suspecting that they may be. Your first feelings may be of fear, anger, sadness, grief, shock or disbelief.


Your response is extremely important as it can impact how the victim/survivor will move forward with trying to get help or get out.


Here is a list of things to consider should a victim/survivor inform you that they are being abused:

  • Listen without judgment
  • Ask questions
  • Believe them absolutely
  • Respect and trust them
  • Respect their feelings
  • Tell them they are not to blame
  • Discuss developing a safety plan
  • Keep in contact if and when possible
  • Keep mindful of your own safety
  • Do NOT speak to the abuser intervene in an abusive episode
  • Get help for yourself

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