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What is Domestic Violence?

The term “domestic violence” is often used in movies, on TV, and on the news, but not many people are aware of what this title really entails. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has tried its best to clear up this issue.

Domestic violence is defined as a “pattern of behaviors utilized by one partner (the abuser or batterer) to exert and maintain control over another person (the survivor or victim) where there exists an intimate, loving, and dependent relationship.”

In our society today, the issue of domestic violence has typically been reserved for women experiencing abuse in heterosexual relationships. However, as society continues to change, our stereotypical idea of domestic violence changes as well.

In the event of domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, the abuser uses coercive and abusive behaviors against the “survivor”. These behaviors lead to the abuser having control of the resources for the relationship. In essence, the abuser has all the power in all regards of the relationship. The survivor can no longer make independent decisions without facing consequences from the abuser.

Abuse can mean many different things. This means that there are different types of abusive relationships as well. In general, types of abuse vary from relationship to relationship; the same forms of control are not usually seen in all abusive relationships. There are, however, a few forms of abuse that are very common in domestic violence situations. Some examples of these behaviors could include:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Isolation
  • Withholding access to finances
  • Harming, attempting, or threatening to harm the victim physically
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Intimidation

Domestic violence is not something to take lightly. It is a very serious and potentially dangerous matter. If you or somebody you know is the victim of any sort of intimate partner violence, do not hesitate to contact an Illinois family law attorney to assist you.

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