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Get the Facts

What is it?

According to the National Council Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.   



Emotional abuse includes …

  • Telling the victim they can never do anything right

  • Showing jealousy of the victim’s family/friends and time spent away

  • Accusing the victim of cheating

  • Keeping or discouraging the victim from seeing friends/family

  • Embarrassing or shaming the victim with put-downs

  • Dictating how the victim dresses, wears their hair, etc.

  • Telling the victim they are a bad parent or threatening to hurt, kill or take away their children

  • Destroying the victim’s property

Psychological abuse includes …

  • Looking at or acting in ways that scare the person they are abusing

  • Controlling who the victim sees, where they go, or what they do

  • Stalking the victim or monitoring their victim’s every move (e.g. in person, online, and/or by GPS tracking on the victim’s phone)

  • Preventing the victim from making their own decisions

  • Pressuring or forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol

  • Preventing the victim from working or attending school, harassing the victim at either, keeping their victim up all night so they perform badly at their job or in school

Financial abuse includes 

  • Controlling every penny spent in the household

  • Taking the victim’s money or refusing to give them money for expenses


Sexual abuse includes …

  • Pressuring the victim to have sex when they don’t want to or to do things sexually they are not comfortable with

  • Forcing sex with others

  • Refusing to use protection when having sex or sabotaging birth control


Physical abuse includes …

  • Threatening to hurt or kill the victim’s friends, loved ones or pets

  • Intimidating the victim with guns, knives, or other weapons

NACDV Blog, Quick Guide: What Is Domestic Violence?  4 October 2016

Resources & Research


Click here to access frequently asked questions about domestic violence.


Click here to learn about the comprehensive services provided by Sarah's Inn in the Chicagoland area.

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Click here to access resources for teen dating violence prevention.

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Based in the Chicaoland area, The Network is a collective of organizations that advocates against domestic violence.  Click here to access the report.

Image by Sawyer Bengtson

Click here to access the report.

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Click here to access the national domestic violence statistics.  

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