DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partner.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS:
- A pattern of behaviors including a variety of tactics – some physically injurious and some not, some criminal and some not – carried out in multiple, sometimes daily episodes.
- A pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion.
- A combination of physical force and terror used by the perpetrator that causes physical and psychological harm to the victim and children.
- A pattern of purposeful behavior, directed at achieving compliance from or control over the victim.
- Behaviors perpetrated by adults or adolescents against their intimate partner in current or former dating, married or cohabiting relationships of heterosexuals, gays and lesbians.
Prepared by Anne L. Ganley, Ph.D. for the Family Violence Prevention Fund