Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern behavior by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors. This behavior is intended to establish power and control over the other partner or ex-partner.

Types of domestic violence:

Domestic violence may include verbal, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, and cyber/technology abuse.

Is verbal abuse domestic violence?

Yes, verbal abuse is domestic violence. Verbal abuse tends to be the most common form of domestic violence, especially in the beginning stages of a relationship.

Is emotional abuse domestic violence?

Yes, emotional abuse is domestic violence. A common form of emotional/psychological abuse is gaslighting. Experiencing gaslighting may make it difficult to understand what is happening to you. While not all domestic violence will involve physical abuse, almost all abusive relationships have some form of emotional abuse.

What is the cycle of domestic violence?

The Cycle of Violence is a repetitive and sometimes predictable pattern of abuse that happens in an intimate relationship.

Phase 1 is called the Tension Building Phase. In this phase the person feels like they are walking on eggshells. Tension is high and they are anticipating/preparing for a conflict. This phase can last days, several weeks or even months.

Phase 2 is the Acute Phase, which often includes a violent or high conflict episode. This may include physical violence but not always. It is often in Phase 2 that a victim will reach out for support.

The last Phase is commonly known as the “Honeymoon” phase. This is when the abusive partner may apologize for what happened in Phase 2, make promises to change and may even seek outhelp for themselves.

Domestic Violence Statistics:

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 6 homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner.
  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. For one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.

When to leave a relationship?

There is no “right” time to leave an abusive relationship. The decision to leave is personal and unique to the individuals’ circumstances, access to resources, social support, and safety level. Itis important to work with a professional familiar with domestic violence to create a safety planthat takes all of this into consideration. Encouraging someone to leave an abusive relationship without a safety plan can increase harm.

How to leave an abusive relationship?

People leave abusive relationships in various ways. It’s important to assess the person’s resources and social support to determine a safe way to leave an abusive relationship. Shelter can be a good option for people who are in a high-risk situation. Others may use family and friends to leave. Law enforcement may also need to be involved, depending on the danger level. It is best to work with a trained mental health professional to determine the best course of action.

Why is it hard to leave a toxic relationship?

Leaving a toxic relationship can be difficult for many reasons.  Even though the relationship is toxic/unhealthy, that does not mean that the people in the relationship do not care about one another. Often there is love for the abusive person. In addition, the abusive partner does a good job of convincing their partner that their experiences are not real or they are greatly exaggerated. Manipulation and denying one’s reality is a common abusive tactic. This creates doubt in the other partner. Abuse can be very confusing and can leave the victim feeling unsure of themselves.

How to leave an emotionally abusive relationship with children?

Having children with an abusive partner can be complicated. Although one parent might be abusive to his/her partner and even his/her children, they often still have legal rights as parents. Itis important to assess what abuse the children are being exposed to too, the age of the children,and if the Department of Children and Family Services needs to be involved. Consultation and support from Family Law attorneys can also be helpful when trying to leave an abusive relationship when children are involved.

How to leave an abusive relationship with no money?

There are many free services available to victims of domestic violence. At Jewish Family Service Hope, all our services are free of charge. Shelter is also a free service. While at the shelter you work closely with a Case Manager to determine what financial assistance program can be available for you.



Any person who identifies as a victim/survivor of domestic violence, regardless of race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, disability, or age. We welcome everyone and work to overcome each survivor’s unique barriers to safety. All counseling center appointments, information, and referrals are handled via our two 24-hour crisis lines: (818) 505-0900 or (323) 681-2626.

Resources for Domestic Violence:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline :
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)


National Dating Abuse Helpline :