Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors or coercive control in an intimate relationship that is used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over the other partner.
Often domestic violence can be subtle and can happen slowly in a relationship. Abusive partners gain or maintain power and control in many ways, which can include behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt or injure someone. The more the survivor tries to pull away from the relationship, the more the abusive partner tries to gain and maintain power and control, often in more dangerous ways.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of their class, religion, ethnic background, education, age, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, gender presentation or immigration status. Sometimes individuals being abused blame themselves for the abuse that is happening to them, but nothing that a person says or does justifies their partner’s use of violence.
Data from an eight-year survey of college students at Rochester Institute of Technology indicates that Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are 1.5 times more likely to be victims of relationship violence including sexual harassment, sexual assault, psychological abuse and physical abuse in their lifetime.
Safety planning is an important process for each survivor. There are ideas for safety planning in many scenarios, including while in a relationship, after leaving, and if you experience stalking. Your personal safety plan will change over time and depending on the situation. Your safety plan should include your children. Consider your safety at work, at home, and anywhere else you may go. You may contact an advocate at BRIDGES or the National Deaf Hotline for assistance with creating your safety plan.
Are you concerned that someone you care about is experiencing abuse? Does your friend or family member…
We often keep silent because we don’t want to intrude on someone’s personal life or we don’t know what to say. Victims often say they kept silent because no one asked them about the abuse. Here are some practical tips for how to talk with someone you care about. The most important thing is to be a non-judgmental source of comfort and support.