Is this abuse?

Abuse happens everywhere

Abuse happens in every culture, age, race, nationality and socio-economic level. It happens in both heterosexual and LGBTQ relationships, and among family members.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be suffering abuse.

Warning signs

Anyone can choose to use violence. Although both men and women can be abusive, a high percentage are men. Those who use violence often refuse to accept responsibility for the abuse and attempt to rationalize or blame the other person or people for causing it.

Domestic violence

can take many forms…

Latino couple sitting with arms linked and content looks
Afro latina mother holding infant with older daughter hugging side and younger daughter smiling

Domestic violence

can occur between family members or persons involved in a relationship, such as:

Myths and facts

There are many myths about domestic violence that perpetuate a distorted view about its nature and causes. The following examples are part of a list that we created to prompt people to examine their beliefs and provide them with accurate information. See the full list of Myths & Facts (PDF).

Individuals who use abuse are not angrier than the rest of us. They use anger as an excuse and justification for their behavior. We all experience anger, but many of us don’t express it by abusing others.

Abusive behavior is not loss of control; it is the exertion of power and control of one partner over the other.

Domestic violence touches every demographic group — regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, class, sexual orientation, occupation, or education.

Drugs and alcohol can increase the danger level and are present in at least 50% of domestic violence cases. However, many alcoholics or drug users do not use violence, and many who use violence do not use drugs and alcohol. Those who both use violence and drugs or alcohol have separate issues to confront if they want help — their addiction and their abusive behavior. Each problem must be addressed independently.

People with mental health problems are not more violent than the general populations. So many people with mental illnesses do not abuse others, and many who do abuse others do not have mental illnesses. Those who both use violence and have mental health issues have separate problems to confront that should be addressed independently.