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Info Center

Abuse Help

What is abuse?

One out of every four American women will experience violence by an intimate partner sometime during her lifetime, according to a 1999 study by the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control. Of those victimized by an intimate partner, 85 percent are women and 15 percent are men.

That means that women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized, according the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Factbook. And only about 1 in five of domestic violence victims who are injured in an attack will get medical help.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines abuse as:
  • Calling bad names or putting someone down
  • Shouting and cursing
  • Hitting, slapping and/or pushing
  • Making threats of any kind
  • Jealousy and suspicion
  • Keeping someone away from family and friends - isolation
  • Throwing things around the house

To recognize whether your partner is abusing you, ask whether your partner:

  • Embarrasses you with put-downs?
  • Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you?
  • Controls what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
  • Stops you from seeing your friends or family members?
  • Takes your money, makes you ask for money or refuses to give you money?
  • Makes all of the decisions?
  • Tells you that you’re a bad parent or threatens to take away or hurt your children?
  • Prevents you from working or attending school?
  • Acts like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even denies doing it?
  • Destroys your property or threatens to kill your pets?
  • Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons?
  • Shoves you, slaps you, chokes you or hits you?
  • If you have contacted law enforcement, forces you to try and drop charges?
  • Threatens to commit suicide?
  • Threatens to kill you?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, please call:

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

If you are a victim of sexual assault, please call:

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) 1-877-739-3895

If you are a victim of stalking, please call:

National Center for Victims of Crime, Stalking Resource Center 1-800-394-2255 1-800-211-7996 (TTY)

The information above is provided by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), which is trying to reduce violence against women and strengthening services to domestic violence victims.

For more information, please visit http://www.usdoj.gov/ovw/ .
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