Domestic/ Relationship Violence is an escalating pattern of abuse in which one person controls another through force, intimidation or the threat of force.
Violence in intimate relationships escalates in frequency and intensity over time. The longer it continues, the more likely you are to be seriously injured or even killed. Most people in relationships experience occasional disagreements with their partner, which is normal. Disagreements can even be healthy for a relationship when they are resolved constructively and peacefully in a reasonable period of time.
Sometimes, however, disagreements become abusive, which is unhealthy or even dangerous to the overall relationship or an involved partner. Abuse in relationships can take the form of physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or economic abuse and typically includes threats, intimidation, intense criticism, forced isolation and/or physical violence. The overwhelming proportion of victims of relationship violence are women, but violence has been known to be perpetrated against men as well.
Relationship abuse and violence occurs among all races, ages, classes and religious groups. It is sadly a frequent component in heterosexual, gay and lesbian dating relationships. It damages and destroys committed relationships such as marriage and long-term partnerships as well as new relationships.