The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic "as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner."
Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together, or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:
- Calls you names, insults you, or continually criticizes you
- Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive
- Tries to isolate you from family or friends
- Monitors where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with
- Does not want you to work
- Controls finances or refuses to share money
- Punishes you by withholding affection
- Expects you to ask permission
- Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family, or your pets
- Humiliates you in any way
Signs of Physical Abuse
You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:
- Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.)
- Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked, or choked you
- Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place
- Scared you by driving recklessly
- Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you
- Forced you to leave your home
- Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving
- Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention
- Hurt your children
- Used physical force in sexual situations
Signs of Sexual Abuse
You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:
- Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles
- Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships
- Wants you to dress in a sexual way
- Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
- Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual acts
- Held you down during sex
- Demanded sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you
- Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex
- Involved other people in sexual activities with you
- Ignored your feelings regarding sex
Responding to Abuse
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions you may be in an abusive relationship; please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233), 800-787-3224 (TTY) or your local domestic violence center to talk with someone about it.
California Penal Code - 273.5. (a)
Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition.
California Penal Code - 243(e) (1)
When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant's child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship.