What is Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can happen to anyone- adult women and men, teenagers, people who are mentally and physically disabled, and the elderly – regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender or economic status.
It is estimated that 33.4% of women, and 24% of men in New Hampshire have experienced a physical assault by an intimate partner.
Sources: 2007 NH Violence Against Women Report, 2009 NH Violence Against Men Report.
Domestic Violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another in the context of an intimate or familial relationship. It may include: physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, verbal, emotional, mental/psychological, and economic abuse. It can involve threats, pushing, punching, slapping, strangulation, sexual assault, shouting, name-calling, harming or threatening to harm children or pets, and other violent or intimidating behaviors. Rarely a one-time occurrence, domestic violence usually escalates in frequency and severity over time.
Abusers batter to control and dominate their partners. Violence is a behavioral choice for which the batterer must take responsibility. No language or other act is provocation or justification for violent behavior. It is important to note that violence is often only a small part of the abuse. Many batterers use other controlling behaviors to gain control over their victims, such as a verbal threat. This can put the victim in fear and the abuser gains power and control.
A largely unreported crime
Domestic Violence is one of the most prevalent crimes in our state, in our country, and in our world and yet it often goes unreported. There are many reasons why victims of domestic violence may be reluctant to report this crime. Victims may fear that nothing will be done to help them; that their abusers will retaliate against them for making the report; that family and friends will blame them; that they will lose their children; that they will lose their jobs; or that their batterers will carry through on threats to harm or kill them, their children, members of their family, or their pets. They may be concerned that the legal system will subject them to an ordeal nearly as horrifying as the domestic abuse itself. Abusers use power and control to instill a sense of fear in their victims. Research shows the most dangerous time for a victim in an abusive relationship is when that person decides to leave.
• Fear of more violence/death
• Fear of losing custody of their children
• Cultural religious values
• The hope that the batterer can change
• The batterer threatens suicide or other self destructive behavior
• Lack of financial independence
If you are in an abusive relationship
• Call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.
• Remember that batterers are abusive in an effort to exert power and control over the victim. Violence and abusive behavior is a choice for which the batterer must take sole responsibility. There is no justification or excuse for physical violence or other forms of abuse and the victim is NEVER to blame.
• Get connected to the crisis center nearest you by calling our statewide toll-free domestic violence hotline 1-866-644-3574; you do not have to give them your name. Trained advocates are ready to answer your questions, offer support, safety plan with you, and provide referrals anytime day or night.
You do not have to be in crisis to call!