Domestic Violence

DV lots of words

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence, also know as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of control used by one person to exert power over another.  Verbal abuse, threats, physical, sexual and financial abuse are the methods used to maintain power and control. Often victims will experience gaslighting, threats against them or family members and coercion.

Domestic violence is ongoing and often escalates, following a cyclic pattern know as the ‘Cycle of Violence”. It may happen frequently or it may also be a rare occurrence or random act. Domestic violence has no boundaries.  This violence occurs in intimate relationships regardless of culture, race, religion or socioeconomic status.

Violent physical acts are criminal and the abuser can be prosecuted for committing them.  Emotional abuse and insults are almost always part of the abuse pattern, but may not be criminal acts. It can be more difficult to recover from the emotional abuse; it whittles away at one’s self esteem and sense of confidence.

Domestic violence is not caused or provoked by the action or inaction of the victim.  Domestic violence is not directly caused by alcohol or drug abuse, depression, lack of money, lack of a job, mental illness or abuse as a child.  However, existing problems often create additional stress in a relationship and may increase the risk of violence.  Abusers blame the victim for their violent acts and do not take responsibility for their abusive behavior.

The Difference between Healthy, Unhealthy and Abusive Relationships

DV resources

Resources for Help:

If you are in a domestic violence situation and would like information on resources and services:

For immediate assistance or If you are in danger, dial 911

Law enforcement receive specialized training in domestic violence. They can also connect you with advocated agencies and additional help that can provide additional services to meet the individual needs of your situation.

To connect with Domestic Violence services in your area:

Domestic Violence Coordinator at the Plymouth County DA’s Office

SAFEPLAN (Orders of Abuse Protection)

Family and Community Resources

South Shore Resource and Advocacy Center

The Network LGBTQ Domestic Violence Hotline

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

Health Imperatives

There is never an excuse for violence.


Domestic Violence