Domestic Violence in California is a violent confrontation between those in a close relationship that results in physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. Close relationships include family or household members include spouses / former spouses, those in (or formerly in) a dating relationship, adults related by blood or marriage, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship.
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Understanding Domestic Violence
Understanding domestic violence can be difficult especially if the victim or abuser is someone you know or care for. Understanding domestic violence begins by identifying domestic violence behavior and ends by realizing it’s impact.
Identifying Domestic Violence
The batterer often makes use of behavior that are considered to be acts of domestic violence, such as: intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, and isolation to coerce and to control the other person. The violence, even if not frequently occurring, is usually enough to remind the victim that there exists the potential of future re-occurrences. Domestic violence is not only physical and sexual in nature but includes psychological violence. Psychological violence is the use of excessive and repetitive degradation, creating isolation, and controlling the actions or behaviors of another through intimidation or manipulation.
Symptoms of Domestic Violence Abuse
Domestic violence abuse in a relationship is any act used to gain power and control over another person. Victims who are abused physically are often isolated. Their partners tend to control their lives to a great extent as well as verbally degrade them.
Physical and Sexual Abuse
Hair pulling, biting, shaking, pushing, pinching, choking, kicking, confinement, slapping, hitting, punching, using weapons, forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching in public or in private, and the deprivation of food or sleep.
- Insults in public or in private.
- Calling a person names.
- Putting down friends and family.
- Making the person feel bad about themselves.
- Making a person feel like their crazy.
- Playing mind games
- Making a person feel guilty.
- Preventing someone from getting or keeping a job.
- Taking a partner’s money or making them ask for money.
- Restricting access to family income.
- Demanding exclusive control over household finances.
Coercion and Threats
- Making threats of physical harm.
- Threatening to leave or to commit suicide.
- Threatening to make a report to welfare.
- Making a person drop charges filed.
- Making a person commit an illegal act.
- Making someone afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions.
- Throwing, smashing or destroying property.
- Abusing pets.
- Dangerous driving.
- Displaying weapons.
Using Children for Abuse
- Making someone feel guilty about the children.
- Using the children to relay messages.
- Using visitation to harass a parent.
- Threatening to take the children away.
- Controlling what someone does, who they see, what they read, and where they go.
- Not allowing a person to use a phone, car, or to have visitors.
Jealousy and Blame to Justify Domestic Violence
- Making light of the abuse and not considering someone else’s feelings.
- Checking up on where a person has been or who they contacted.
- Attempting to shift the responsibility for abusive behavior.
If you are in a controlling relationship, do not ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate and manipulate another.
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