What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. Domestic violence is a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over another person. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical abuse, psychological, emotional, verbal and financial abuse, sexual violence and isolation.
It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.

In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows. Read the 22 Types of Abuse.
The Power & Control Diagram is a particularly helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used by an abuser to establish and maintain control over his or her partner.
Very often, one or more violent incidents are accompanied by an array of these other types of abuse. They are less easily identified, yet firmly establish a pattern of intimidation and control in the relationship.

Help, support and information are available to you through Willow Center. Please call our confidential, 24-hour Hotline at (585) 222-SAFE (7233).