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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is 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 (or have been) 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.

How Can I Get Help?

Make the first call and ask for help. You may save your life.

Phone Numbers:

  • 911 Emergency
  • 941-755-6805 HOPE Family Services
  • 1-800-500-1119 Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline
How do Domestic Violence Victims and Survivors Find Help?
  • Statewide Hotline - 1-800-500-1119
  • Internet
  • Law Enforcement
  • Legal Aid Office
  • State Attorney’s Office
  • Referral to other shelters or community agencies

How Can I Help?

By Donating or volunteering your time.

For Donations - click here

For Volunteer applications - click here to apply.