What is Domestic Violence?
1. Using Physical Abuse: hitting, grabbing, pulling, pushing, biting, choking, restraining, hitting, using objects, etc.
2. Using Sexual Abuse: Forcing, harassing or pestering someone to engage in a sexual activity against their will.
3. Using Intimidation: making your partner afraid by using intimidating gestures, looks or actions, smashing things, destroying property that means a lot to the other person; abusing pets, pulling out weapons.
4. Using Emotional Abuse: playing mind games to make your partner feel bad, guilty or crazy, humiliating your partner, insulting your partner, calling them stupid, worthless or no good (in front of people or not).
5. Using Isolation: controlling what your partner does, where they goes, to whom they talks, where they work, not letting them have or use the car; not letting them have friends, or limiting them, keeping them from their famil, using jealousy to justify one ' s actions.
6. Minimizing, Denying and/or Blaming: saying the abuse was no big deal or denying that it ever happened; making your partner responsible for the abuse, by saying they caused it.
7. Using Children: controlling your partner by using the children to relay messages, using visitation to harass, threatening to take the children away or to steal them, calling your partner a bad father or a bad mother (called core insults).
8. Using gender privilege: Examples: "I am the man and I will make all the major decisions." Or "I am the man so I am king of my castle." Or "I am a woman and therefore I am a better parent." Or "I am the women so I will not let you see the children unless I say so."
9. Using Economic Abuse: refusing to allow your partner to work, handling all of the finances, not letting them have access to a checking account or credit cards, not allowing them to have a separate account of any kind, giving your partner an allowance (as a form of control), "Whoever makes the money is in charge of it."
10. Using Coercion and Threats: using force or threats to get control or manipulate, threatening to leave, threatening to commit suicide, threatening to kill your partner, their family or others, trying to get your partner to drop pending charges.
Violence is used in many of these scenarios because it weakens the victim, renders them powerless and can put them in shock. Violence helps the abuser to control. It is damaging to all involved including the children who learn that this is normal behavior.
Please contact Dr. Kaufman if you find yourself needing help. (If you are in immediate danger contact 911.)