About Domestic Abuse

Over 10 million people are abused annually in the United States.

About 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced physical violence, sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.

It is also estimated that over 15.5 million children in the U.S. are exposed annually to adult Intimate Partner violence (IPV) at home, with young children making up the majority of exposed youth among families who seek police involvement for IPV.

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person to gain power and control over another in an intimate or familial relationship. Many terms are used interchangeably to describe and discuss domestic abuse. It may also be referred to as: abuse, domestic violence, battery, intimate partner violence, or family, spousal, relationship or dating violence (PCADV).

Domestic abuse is complex and takes on many forms, and many victims experience a combination if not all types of abuse including:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Financial Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Stalking

Cycle of Abuse Graphic Here

Recognizing Abuse:

Recognizing and acknowledging that you or someone you know is experiencing relationship or familial abuse can be very difficult. Abusers use manipulation, isolation, gaslighting, threats and fear to maintain power and control and are often level-headed in public and amongst those outside of the abusive relationship making it harder for those outside of the relationship to recognize the abuse.

Here are a few indicators that may help you identify abuse:

  • Name calling or demeaning comments
  • Threatens to harm or kill you, your pet(s) or family members
  • Blames you for the abusive behavior; does not take responsibility for actions
  • Prevents you from spending time with family or friends and from enjoying hobbies and other activities

Identifying Abuse Towards Others:

Here are a few indicators that may help you identify if someone you care about is experiencing abuse:

  • Their partner puts them down in front of other people
  • They are constantly worried about making their partner angry
  • They make excuses for their partner’s behavior
  • They have unexplained marks or bruises

See other Common Signs of Abuse Here: PCADV

One of the best ways to help someone in an abusive situation is to listen to them, support them and empower them. Encourage them to reach out to our services by providing them with our information and allow them to make their own decisions about how to proceed.

If you are being abused, it is important to remember:

  • It is not your fault.
  • You are not alone.
  • Domestic and sexual abuse are against the law.
  • You are not responsible for the abuser’s behavior.
  • There are things you can do to protect yourself.

We are here to help you 24-hours a day, 7 days a week: 570-421-4200


General Safety Tips:

  • Learn your partner’s warning signals so you can get out before the violence starts.
  • Have a safety plan in case you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Talk with your children. They know that you’re hurting and might fear for your safety. They may want to leave as much as you do.Call friends and relatives you can trust and talk about your concerns. You may discover that they are worried about you but don’t know how to ask you about the abuse.

How To Help A Friend/Family Member:

If someone you love has been affected by domestic or sexual abuse, it may be difficult to know how you can best support them.  The best thing you can do is listen to them and support them. Let them know that there are options available to them and that they are not alone and direct them to available resources, but keep in mind that the decision to leave can only be made by the person experiencing the abuse.

For further assistance, please call our hotline at 570-421-4200.

Learn more about Domestic Abuse: PCADV, NCADV, NDVH