What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in an intimate partner relationship used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner.
Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound the other.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and educational levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.
Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Many children who grow up witnessing domestic violence are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but can also teach them that violence is a normal way of life increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of abusers.
What is Physical Abuse?
Physical abuse is hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, strangling, hair-pulling, biting, etc. Physical abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use.
What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
What is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse is undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.
What is Economic Abuse?
Economic abuse is making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.
What is Psychological Abuse?
Psychological abuse is causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends or pets; destruction of property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
What is Battering?
Battering is a pattern of coercive behavior used to establish power and control over another person.
Who is Battered?
The largest percentage of individuals battered are women; “85% of domestic violence victims are women.” (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.) In all cultures, rural and urban individuals of all religious, ethnic, socio-economic and educational backgrounds and of varying ages, physical abilities and lifestyles can be affected by domestic violence. There is not a typical woman who will be battered.
Battered individuals may also include: heterosexual males, immigrant and refugee women, children, individuals with physical, psychiatric and cognitive disabilities, pregnant women, older women, rural women, same sex partners, and teens.
How Can I Get Help?
Make the first call and ask for help. You may save your life.
941-755-6805 HOPE Family Services
1-800-500-1119 Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline
What if I'm Not Ready To Leave?
Please Read our Safety Plan. Click here to read it. En Español.
How do Domestic Violence Victims Find Help?
- Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV)
- Statewide Hotline
- Law Enforcement
- Legal Aid Office
- State Attorney’s Office
- Switchboard of Manatee County Government
- Safety Planning is completed with all hotline callers
- Referral to other shelters or community agencies
How Can I Help?
What Happens to Me if the Emergency Safe Shelter is Full?
Because there are many individuals looking for shelter and sometimes no beds are available, HOPE staff members will try and help you find alternate accommodations at a neighboring shelter.