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Domestic Violence Can Take Many Forms

Generally speaking, domestic violence occurs when one person uses abusive methods to establish and maintain power and control over another. Domestic violence can occur in different types of relationships - adults and minors in the same household, adult children and their parents or grandparents, siblings, etc. Domestic violence is pervasive and crosses racial, ethnic, cultural, national, and socio-economic lines. Specifically, Bethesda House serves women escaping domestic violence which comes under the intimate partner umbrella.  

Taking a Break

Some of the most common tactics include: 

  • physical violence

  • sexual violence 

  • emotional abuse

  • verbal abuse 

  • stalking 

  • financial or economic abuse 

  • isolation 

  • intimidation 

Domestic violence, which occurs between partners, is also called Intimate partner violence (IPV).


Although both men and women experience IPV, women are more often the victims.

The Power and Control Wheel, developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, provides a strong visual of some of the tactics abusers use to maintain control over victims.  

Warning signs

There are warning signs which can help potential victims identify an unhealthy relationship before it becomes abusive. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides an impressive list of behaviors for each of these categories. 

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