This is a quick overview of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse does not have any cultural, religious, ethnic or sexual boundaries. It effects us all!
In addition, there are many kinds of domestic abuse: elder abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, sibling abuse, partner abuse, teen dating abuse, etc. Within the broad category of abuse it is important to note that abuse may be physical, mental, emotional, verbal, sexual, financial, etc. The important point is that in all cases of domestic abuse there is an abuse of power and control and use of intimidation often.
It is also important to be aware of the cycle of abuse that can occur. The cycle begins with all being well — the “hearts and flowers” phase where there is a “loving” relationship. This is often followed by a build up of anger on the part of the abuser (regardless of what the victim/survivor does) and a feeling of tension. These feelings of tension are often felt by the victim/survivor and they learn to anticipate when the abusive incident is going to occur. Following this build-up there is often the “abusive” incident which is then followed in time with the hearts and flowers.
Domestic abuse is not healthy for anyone — the abuser, the victim/survivor, and certainly not any children who are directly or indirectly involved in any abusive relationship.
If you think you or someone you care about is involved in an abusive relationship, please contact your local Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services(for elder abuse or for the abuse of an incapacitated adult), or your local domestic abuse shelter or hotline.