While at UCLA ◦ Rape Crisis Center ◦ Battered Women Shelter While in Office ◦ DVTF ◦ DV March
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Domestic violence can include physical, emotional, psychological, economic, and/or sexual abuse. Abusers use threats, intimidation, isolation, and other behaviors to gain and maintain power over their victims.
Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Domestic violence occurs in same-sex relationships, and men can be victims as well. Other terms for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, domestic violence may include: Physical abuse such as slapping, kicking, hitting, shoving, or other physical force. Sexual abuse including rape, sexual assault, forced prostitution, or interfering with birth control. Emotional abuse such as shouting, name- calling, humiliation, constant criticism, or harming the victim’s relationship with her or his children.
Psychological abuse including threats to harm the victims' family, friends, children, co- workers, or pets, isolation, mind games, destruction of victims' property, or stalking. Economic abuse such as controlling the victim’s money, withholding money for basic needs, interfering with school or job, or damaging the victim’s credit. Several or all of the above forms of violence and abuse may take place.
Are you ever afraid of your partner? Does your partner threaten to hurt you? Does your partner control all the money? Has your partner ever pushed you or shoved you, thrown things at you, or forced you to have sex? Does your partner stalk you or show up uninvited at your job or when you’re out with friends?stalk If you said yes to one or more of these questions, you may be a victim of domestic violence.
Talk with people you trust such as friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. Let them know what is happening and talk about ways they might be able to help. Consider what you might do to increase safety during an argument or if you can tell abuse is coming. For example, some rooms in your home may be safer than others. Memorize the numbers you might need to use in an emergency, like 911, a friend’s or family member’s number, or the local hotline. In New York City, you can get to Safe Horizon’s Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 311. Keep in mind that the person hurting you could take your cell phone from you, so memorizing numbers or keeping a list of numbers somewhere safe may be helpful.
Plan how you would escape if you needed to. If you live in an apartment building, make sure you know all the ways out of the building. Consider what routes you could take to get to transportation, and where you could go to get to safety. You could learn how to get to a local police station, fire department, hospital emergency room, or 24-hour store. You might want to identify a route to the subway that is different from your usual route, and plan to use that in an emergency. Consider talking with your children about safety. Some survivors teach their children how to call 911, or talk with them about a neighbor’s home or place in the community that may be a safe place to go in an emergency. Prepare an emergency bag. You may want to put together a bag that includes money, copies of house and car keys, medicine, and copies of important papers such as birth certificates, social security cards, immigration documents, court orders, and health insurance information. The bag could also include extra clothes, important phone numbers, or other things you might need if you had to leave your home in a hurry. If you prepare an emergency bag, you may be able to keep it at a trusted friend’s or family member’s home.
The Violence Against Women Act: has provisions designed to improve both victim services and arrest and prosecution of batterers. As described by the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, VAWA created a national domestic violence hotline and allocated substantial funds for a number of different kinds of initiatives and programs, including shelters and other services for battered women, judicial education and training programs, and programs to increase outreach to rural women. A provision of VAWA that created a federal civil right of action—a right of action that would have allowed a victim of violence, such as sexual assault or domestic violence, to sue the perpetrator for civil damages resulting from the attack—was challenged as unconstitutional under United States law. The Violence Against Women ActNational Coalition of Domestic Violence
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) provides the main federal funding to help victims of domestic violence and their dependents (such as children). Programs funded through FVPSA provide shelter and related help. They also offer violence prevention activities and try to improve how service agencies work together in communities.
The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 created a new form of relief for victims of domestic violence in the United States. The new law created “U-Visas,” which allow immigrants who are victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence, or have information about those crimes, to apply for residency in the United States. A law enforcement official must certify that the individual’s assistance is necessary for the investigation.Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000
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