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Domestic & Dating Violence
Women's Personal Safety Network
Women's Safety
Information That's NOT
Just for Women Only!
Copyright© 2008 WPSN
Do you wonder . . .
  • Why is violence against another human being labeled “domestic” or “dating” violence?
  • Why is there still a debate over how to deal with domestic violence?
  • Why is “getting away with murder” so much the reality in cases of intimate violence?
  • Why aren’t perpetrators of intimate violence treated the same as those committing
    other acts of violence?
toward a parent or even toward themselves.  So, you ask yourself, “How can we raise children to respect and value human life
and the wellbeing of others if they witness, personally and frequently, behavior to the contrary in their own homes?”

It is true that perpetrators of domestic violence can be either male or female.  However, the incidence of male on female
violence is so overwhelmingly more significant than female on male violence that the discussion usually addresses women
who are victimized.  Regardless, what is included on this site is appropriate for anyone in an unhealthy relationship.

The following link will take you to an article by the National Coalition
Against Domestic Violence titled “
Domestic Violence Facts."  This article
gives startling facts about the following as related to domestic violence:

  • Children Who Witness
  • Sexual Assault and Stalking
  • Homicide and Injury
  • Economic Impact
  • Reporting Rates
  • Protection Orders

Pre-Incident Indicators*
*The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker, pp. 174-175
This terrific book describes very clearly the “gut” or intuitive feeling we
all possess.  Following is list of pre-incident indicators which if present
within a relationship may result in intimate violence.  

  1. The woman has intuitive feelings that she is at risk.
  2. At the inception of the relationship, the man accelerated the pace, prematurely placing on the agenda such things as
    commitment, living together, and marriage.
  3. He resolves conflict with intimidation, bullying, and violence.
  4. He is verbally abusive.
  5. He uses threats and intimidation as instruments of control or abuse.  This includes threats to harm physically, to
    defame, to embarrass, to restrict freedom, to disclose secrets, to cut off support, to abandon, and to commit suicide.
  6. He breaks or strikes things in anger.  He uses symbolic violence (tearing a wedding photo, marring a face in a photo,
  7. He has battered in prior relationships.
  8. He uses alcohol or drugs with adverse affects (memory loss, hostility, cruelty).
  9. He cites alcohol or drugs as an excuse or explanation for hostile or violent conduct ("That was the booze talking, not me";
    "I got so drunk I was crazy").
  10. His history includes police encounters for behavioral offenses (threats, stalking, assault, battery).
  11. There has been more than one incident of violent behavior (including vandalism, breaking things, throwing things).
  12. He uses money to control the activities, purchases, and behavior of his wife/partner.
  13. He becomes jealous of anyone or anything that takes her time away from the relationship; he keeps her on a "tight
    leash," requires her to account for her time.
  14. He refuses to accept rejection.
  15. He expects the relationship to go on forever, perhaps using phrases like "together for life," "always," "no matter what."
  16. He projects extreme emotions onto others (hate, love, jealously, commitment) even when there is no evidence that
    would lead a reasonable person of abuse.
  17. He minimizes incidents of abuse.
  18. He spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about his wife/partner and derives much of his identity from being
    her husband, lover, etc.
  19. He tries to enlist his wife's friends or relatives in a campaign to keep or recover the relationship.
  20. He has inappropriately surveilled or followed his wife/partner.
  21. He believes others are out to get him.  He believes that those around his wife/partner dislike him and encourage her to
  22. He resists change and is described as inflexible, unwilling to compromise.
  23. He identifies with or compares himself to violent people in films, news stories, fiction, or history.  He characterizes the
    violence of others as justified.
  24. He suffers mood swings or is sullen, angry, or depressed.
  25. He consistently blames others for problems of his own making; he refuses to take responsibility for the results of his
  26. He refers to weapons as instruments of power, control, or revenge.
  27. Weapons are a substantial part of his persona; he has a gun or he talks about, jokes about, reads about or collects
  28. He uses "male privilege" as a justification for his conduct (treats her like a servant, makes all the big decisions, acts like
    the "master of the house").
  29. He experienced or witnessed violence as a child.
  30. His wife/partner fears he will injure or kill her.  She has discussed this with others or has made plans to be carried out in
    the event of her death (e.g. designating someone to care for the children).

The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift are must reads for anyone interested in developing your own healthy and, possibly,
life saving internal intuitive radar.

The best advice to anyone suffering from an unhealthy relationship is to tell him or her to call the domestic violence hotline in
the county or state in which they live.  Through this contact, information should be available which could lead the victim to a safe
house for victims of domestic violence.  For additional information, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline -
800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-3224 TTY, or

For additional information on Power and Control in relationships as well as The Power & Control Wheel, click on this link to go
to “
Domestic Violence Facts," an article by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and click on the "Relationships -
Healthy or Abusive" and "Relationship - Power and Control"  links to pages on this website.
on Power and Control in
relationships as well as
Power & Control
Wheel, click on this link
to go to
Domestic Violence Facts,"
an article by the
National Coalition Against
Domestic Violence
click on the "Relationships
- Healthy or Abusive" link

Important websites and phones numbers:
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline at
    1-800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-3224
    TTY, or
  • National Coalition Against Domestic
    Violence - 303-839-1852,
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center -
  • NCADV Public Policy Office · 1633 Q St NW
    # 210 · Washington, DC 20009 · (202) 745-
    1211 · Fax: (202) 745-0088
  • Face to Face, 800-842-4546, www. works with NCADV
    (see above) to help victims of domestic
    violence with facial injuries.
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on Domestic Violence