24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 570-296-HELP (4357)
Domestic violence comes in many shapes and sizes. It happens in the wealthiest families; it happens in the poorest families. It happens to every race, every gender, and is found in every culture. While the dictionary’s definition of domestic violence is quite short and simple; violent or aggressive behavior within the home; Safe Haven knows that there is absolutely NOTHING simple about this very real, very prevalent issue.
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Sometimes this involves physical violence, and sometimes it does not. The truth is, emotional, verbal, financial, and psychological abuse can leave just as many “marks” on a victim as physical abuse.
Abuse is a cyclical pattern, meaning it tends to happen in a cycle. Typically, we think of this cycle as having 3 phases.
1. The Tension Building Phase.
Typically, during this time, the victim can feel tensions in their relationship rising. Small arguments start to grow larger or simple issues become large problems in the eyes of the abuser. Many victims report having a “gut feeling” that something bad was going to happen or that they felt like they were “walking on eggshells” and trying harder to avoid confrontations.
2. The Abusive Incident
This could be a physical, sexual, or verbal/emotional incident. Some describe it as the breaking point of the previously built up tension.
3. The Honeymoon Phase
In most cases, the abuser will apologize or try to diminish or excuse their behavior to the victim. They often buy them gifts and make it a point to promise that it will never happen again. The relationship during the honeymoon stage is often happy and content and can last for a long period of time before the tension starts to build again.
Below is a quick list of different types of abuse a victim may experience. If any of these feel familiar, call our hotline for more information about what options are available to you.
Physical – hitting, punching, shoving, or using weapons to cause bodily injury.
Sexual – physically forcing, intimidating, or blackmailing you into having sex or performing sexual acts without your consent.
Psychological & Emotional – name calling, insulting, calling you “crazy”, picking you apart, gas-lighting
Isolation – separating you from family and friends or not allowing you to have contact with them. Making you feel bad about spending time with anyone other than your abuser.
Intimidation / Threats – Threatening to harm you or someone you love. Threatening to harm or kill pets. Blackmailing you into doing or saying something that you do not want.
Minimizing / Denying – Saying things like “It wasn’t that bad.” or “You’re over-reacting.” Or denying that any abuse even occurred in the first place.
Financial – Keeping or stealing money from you. Not allowing you access to household funds or giving you an “allowance”.
Cyber – Harassing you online or posting harmful or compromising pictures of you without your consent or knowledge.
Medical – withholding (or threatening to withhold) medications or forcing you to take unprescribed medications. Neglecting to call for medical services if you are sick or injured.