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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be physical or psychological and can affect any age, race, gender, or sexual orientation. On average nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner, which is defined as intentional bodily injury such as slapping, punching, pushing, choking, kicking, shoving, shaking or restraining. While every relationship is different, the core of domestic violence is an unequal power dynamic in which one partner tries to exert control over the other in a variety of ways. 

What are Signs of an Abusive Relationship?

Abusive relationships can take many forms but some of the most common characteristics are:

  • Name calling at your expense or has humiliated you in private or in front of others 
  • Told you what to wear or criticized how you dress 
  • Insists you have sex even when you don’t want to or coerces you into performing sexual acts that you dislike 
  • Either refuses to let you work or forces you to work 
  • Refuses to let you leave the house 
  • Constantly demands to know where you are or who you are with
  • Monitors phone calls, emails, text messages, social media accounts 
  • Isolates you from your friends and family 
  • Use of any physical violence against you, or physically harms others such as children or pets 
  • Has threatened to kill you if you leave 
  • Has threatened to kill themselves if you leave 
  • Has blamed you for an abusive behavior 
  • Has destroyed your possessions 
  • Has stalked you  
Oftentimes it is easy to minimize some of these behaviors as harmless and view them as just a sign of insecurity, especially in the beginning of the relationship. The bottom line is abuse is not about jealousy or love, but is about power and control and usually continues to escalate over time. 


Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma associated with domestic violence. Many victims feel a sense of shame and guilt, which makes it hard to reach out for help. What further complicates this is that many times friends and family do not understand the cycle or dynamics surrounding domestic violence and that simply leaving the relationship is not as easy as it sounds. Oftentimes victims often leave and go back several times before leaving for good, which is very frustrating for others who do not understand the complicated nature of the abuse.

There are so many factors that victims have to consider when trying to end an abusive relationship. First and foremost, safety is a valid concern that must be considered when trying to leave and many victims have been so isolated and controlled that even finding support or the financial means to be out on their own seems impossible.

In addition to physical safety, leaving an abusive relationship is emotionally taxing. One of the hardest things to come to terms with is simply acknowledging that the relationship is abusive and then working to process the complicated emotions surrounding the experiences. Regardless of all the challenges surrounding domestic violence, you are not alone and there are help and resources available.

Schedule Your free consultation 

Talk with NuWebb Counseling in Jonesboro, Arkansas to start the journey towards living your best life.

 (870) 586-6743