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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be defined 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.

Who do you contact for help?

Often, the best source of help and information is your local police department. If you are a victim of domestic violence, call 911.

You may also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Trained counselors provide confidential crisis intervention, support, information and referrals to local programs to victims of domestic violence, their families and friends. All calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline are confidential. Click here for information about the National Domestic Violence Hotline.