dv

The Facts

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.

  • On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.
  • Women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year.
  • Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.
  • Women are much more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner. Women are 84 percent of spouse abuse victims and 86 percent of victims of abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend. About three-fourths of the persons who commit family violence are male.
  • Women of all ages are at risk for domestic and sexual violence, and those age 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence.

Signs of Abuse

You may be in an abusive relationship if your partner ever:

  • Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
  • Expects you to ask permission.
  • Damages property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
  • Pushes, slaps, bites, kicks or chokes you.
  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • 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 without your consent.
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you.
  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex without your consent.
  • Involved other people in sexual activities with you without your consent.
  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex.


If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions you may be in an abusive relationship; please call the San Diego Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.DV.LINKS (1.800.385.4657).


Information from the National Domestic Violence Hotline