What is Domestic & Relationship Violence?
Domestic and relationship violence is the use or threat of force by members of a family or household, boyfriend or girlfriend, member from a former relationship or other relative against another member of the same family or household. The goal of domestic violence is domination and control.
Characteristics & Warning Signs
Violence is not unique to one class, community or ethnic group, not to heterosexual women. It seems to be prevalent in all communities. Both men and women have been victims of dating violence, however the abuse of women by men is more pervasive and usually more severe. Recent results from the National Crime Victimization survey indicates that women were 6 times more likely than men to experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner.
Your Partner might be Abusive if He or She:
- has a "conservative" attitude toward the role of women.
- drinks excessively, uses drugs, or pushes others to drink or do drugs.
- berates you for not doing things his/her way.
- speaks for you.
- will not allow you to share expenses.
- drives recklessly.
- is insecure or has low self-esteem.
- tells you who you can be friends with.
- is overly jealous.
- makes all the decisions.
- is physically violent.
- physically intimidates.
- is unable to handle frustrations.
- comes from a violent family.
What to Do
If You are Being Abused
If someone you love or once loved has abused or threatened you, there is a good chance it might happen again- it may even get worse. You can't tell when a person will try to threaten you, but you can reduce the risks and come up with a plan.
- Think about when and where you might be abused (Are you living with your abuser? Do you work in the same place?).
- Think about what you can do to be safe.
- Tell people what is happening and what they can do to help.
- Develop a code word that signals you are in trouble.
- Tell your neighbors to call police if they hear any fights.
- If you sense that a partner is about to become violent, try to get to a place with a door and a phone- stay away from kitchens (knives) and bathrooms (no escape).
- Create an escape plan. Have your essentials and important documents handy along with some money in case you have to leave in a hurry.
- If you have children or others that you take care of, tell them not to get in the middle of a fight, talk to them about when to call for help, and teach them how to use the phone to call police and give the address.
You do not deserve to be hit or threatened!!! You can act to protect yourself.
If Your Friend is Being Abused
- Become informed. Find out all you can about domestic violence.
- Lend an ear. Let your friend know that you care and will listen.
- Don't force the issue and never blame your friend for what is happening.
- Focus on supporting her to make her own decisions.
- Share information about support services in the community. Encourage her to call a battered woman's shelter.
- Focus on her strengths. Give her the emotional support she needs to believe she is a good person. Emphasize that she deserves a life free from violence.
If she decides to leave, help her make a safe plan. A domestic violence shelter can help her with options.
Support for Domestic Violence Victims
Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-838-8238
Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance: 1-804-377-0335
RESPONSE Sexual Assault Support Services: sexual assault support, counseling, education and advocacy.
5215 Colley Avenue, 757-622-4300 (24 hour hotline),
Transitions Family Violence Services: Hampton hotline and shelter, support groups, advocacy. 757-723-7774 (hotline), 757-722-2261 (office)
Women in Crisis: domestic violence program, support group, emergency shelter, hotline. 5215 Colley Avenue, 757-625-5570 (24-hour hotline), 757-625-4248 (office)Samaritan House: Virginia Beach domestic violence shelter, hotline, counseling and services.Navy Family Advocacy Program: Norfolk program for Navy families, counseling, support, advocacy, crisis intervention. 757-433-2555
HER Shelter and Hotline: Portsmouth domestic violence hotline, counseling, emergency shelter.
757-485-3384 (hotline) 757-485-1445 (office)
The Genieve Shelter: Suffolk domestic violence shelter, hotline, counseling, advocacy. 1-800-969-HOPE, 757-925-4365 (office)