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is the mistreatment or
misuse of one person
by another in the
context of an intimate
The abuse can
Emotional or Psychological
or a combination (which is

shoving and
pushing to severe
battering and
choking and may
involving broken
limbs and ribs,
internal bleeding,
brain damage, even

assaults during
sexual relations
such as
biting nipples
pulling hair
90% to 95% of domestic violence
victims are women
1 in 3 women in the US is
estimated to have been beaten
by a spouse at least once.
5.3 million women in the US
experience a serious assault by a
8% of US homicides involve one
spouse killing another
3 of every 10 female homicide
victims are murdered by their
spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend or
Intimate partner homicides ,
25% are male and 75% are
Estimated 324,000 women
experience violence while
Domestic violence occurs in same-sex
relationships with the same statistical frequency
as in heterosexual relationships and affects
50,000 lesbian women and 500,000 gay men each

Seven states define domestic violence in a way

that excludes same-sex victims.

Twenty-one other states have sodomy laws that

designate sodomy (anal intercourse) as a
crime; thus, same-sex victims must first confess
to the crime of sodomy to prove a domestic
relationship between partners.

The same-sex batterer has an additional weapon

to use against the victim: the threat of revealing
the partners homosexuality to friends, family,
Clinical Picture
An abusive husband often
believes his wife belongs to
him (like property) and
becomes increasingly violent
and abusive if she shows any
sign of independence such
as getting a job or
threatening to leave.
Clinical Picture
The ABUSER has strong feelings of
inadequacy and low self-esteem as
well as poor problem-solving and
social skills.

He is emotionally immature, needy,

irrationally jealous, and possessive.

The violent behavior often is

rewarding and boosts his self-
Dependency is the
trait most commonly
found in abused wives
who stay with their
husbands. Women often
cite personal and financial
dependency as reasons
why they find leaving an
abusive relationship
extremely difficult.

Regardless of the victims

talents or abilities, she
perceives herself as
unable to function without
her husband. She too
often suffers from low
self-esteem and defines
Cycle of Abuse and
Stress/Safety: What stress do you
experience in your relationships? Do you feel safe
in your relationships? Should I be concerned for
your safety?

Afraid/Abused: Are there situations in

your relationships where you have felt afraid? Has
your partner ever threatened or abused you or
your children? Have you ever been physically hurt
or threatened by your partner? Are you in a
relationship like that now? Has your partner ever
forced you to engage in sexual intercourse that
you did not want? People in relationships/
marriages often fight; what happens when you
and your partner disagree?

Friends/Family: Are your friends aware

that you have been hurt? Do your parents or
siblings know about this abuse? Do you think you
could tell them, and would they be able to give
you support?
Treatment and Intervention
Every state in the United States allows police to make arrests in cases of
domestic violence.
A woman can obtain a restraining order (protection order) from her county of
residence that legally prohibits the abuser from approaching or contacting her.
Even after a victim of battering has ended the relationship, problems may
continue. Mullen et al. (1999) reported that stalking, or repeated and
persistent attempts to impose unwanted communication or
contact on another person , is a problem.
Treatment and Intervention
Individual psychotherapy or counseling, group therapy,
or support and self-help groups can help abused
women deal with their trauma and begin to build new,
healthier relationships.