Intimate Partner Violence

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that is a pervasive life-threatening crime affecting people in all our communities regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, social standing and immigration status. Abuse is not love. It is one person in a relationship having power and control over the other person. Domestic violence takes many forms: physical; emotional; economic; stalking and harassment; and sexual. It does not always leave marks or cause permanent damage.

Physical abuse can include throwing objects, pushing, scratching, grabbing, strangling, threatening to attack with a weapon, and more.

Emotional abuse can be verbal or non-verbal, including: name-calling, yelling, manipulating your children, telling you what to do or where you can or cannot go, placing little value on what you say, putting you down in front of other people, cheating, being overly jealous, shifting responsibility for abusive behavior by blaming others or saying you caused it, monitoring your phone calls and texts, and more.

Economic abuse can include forbidding you to go to work or school, withholding money or giving an allowance, denying access to bank accounts, hiding family assets.

Stalking and harassment may include making unwanted visits or sending unwanted messages, checking up on you constantly, embarrassing you in public, refusing to leave when you said, and following you without your consent.

Sexual abuse can and does occur in committed relationships and marriages.

If you are struggling with any type of domestic violence or have witnessed domestic violence in your past, it may be time to reach out for help.

Treatment for domestic violence at CARE Counseling may include trauma specific therapy that helps you process through your experiences and helps to find additional support for securing safety. In addition, therapy may involve exploring other issues such as self-esteem, anxiety, relationship challenges, financial problems, and finding employment.

Click here to learn more about Intimate Partner Violence

Examples of Abuse

Physical violence (e.g., hitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling, choking, pushing, burning, using weapons, slamming head against something)

Sexual violence (e.g., being forced into sexual acts, being pressured into sexual acts, unwanted sexual contact)

Coercion or threats (e.g., threatening to harm you, themselves, or others, threatening to “out” you)

Signs of domestic abuse

You might be experiencing domestic abuse if your partner:

Uses intimidating, hurtful words and behaviors to control you

Calls you names, insults you, or puts you down

Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school or seeing family members or friends

Tries to control how you spend your money, where you go, what medicines you take, or what you wear

Treatment at CARE

Learn what differentiates healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships

Learn effective ways of communication

Learn coping skills

Learn about boundaries

COMMON occurrences during domestic abuse


  • Stalking (e.g., pattern of harassing or threatening tactics that is unwanted and causes fear or safety concerns)
  • Intimidation (e.g., making you afraid by using looks, gestures, and actions)
  • Emotional abuse (e.g., putting you down, playing mind games)
  • Isolation (e.g., limiting who you talk to, saying no one will believe you)
  • Denying, minimizing, blaming (e.g., saying the abuse didn’t happen, saying you “made” them abuse you, making light of the abuse)
  • Using children (e.g., threatening to take children, using children to relay messages)
  • Using privilege (e.g., treating you like a servant)
  • Economic abuse (e.g., preventing you from getting or keeping a job, making you ask for money)


  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school or seeing family members or friends
  • Tries to control how you spend your money, where you go, what medicines you take, or what you wear
  • Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
  • Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • Threatens you with violence or a weapon
  • Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes, or otherwise hurts you, your children, or your pets
  • Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
  • Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it