Domestic abuse is a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner (a current or former spouse, partner, or boyfriend/girlfriend) against another. It can include physical violence, sexual assault, emotional and psychological abuse, financial control, and intimidation and threats. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically, but the one constant component is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.
Domestic violence affects individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in four women in the United States report experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life. Domestic Abuse Statistics