The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

About Domestic Violence

The abuse you or someone you know is experiencing or have experienced is not your fault.  Our network of domestic violence programs is here to help people stay safe.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior or coercive control in any relationship that is used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over another.

Common Ways Abusers Gain or Maintain Power and Control

Often domestic violence can be subtle and can happen slowly in a relationship.  Anyone can be abused, and sometimes leaving can be very hard and dangerous due to the abuser’s actions.  Abusers gain or maintain power and control in many ways.  The more the abused person tries to pull away from the relationship, the more an abuser tries to gain and maintain power and control, often in more dangerous ways.  The following is a list of some ways in which someone abusing their partner people that abuse their partners try to gain and maintain power and control.

Domestic violence can be:

This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt or injure someone.

Anyone can be abused, and the abuse is not the fault of the victim. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of their class, religion, ethnic background, education, age, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, gender presentation, or immigration status.  Sometimes individuals being abused blame themselves for the abuse that is happening to them, but nothing that a person says or does justifies their partner’s use of violence.

Is It Abuse?

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the abusive actions above, it could be a sign of domestic violence in the relationship.  Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that some individuals use to control others in their family or home, and it tends to get worse over time.   If a victim’s partner has ever threatened them, physically harmed them or otherwise made their partner afraid for their safety, taking action to leave, separate or divorce may put a victim in greater danger. Please call Georgia’s 24-Hour domestic violence hotline, 1.800.33.HAVEN (1.800.334.2836) V/TTY to talk to an advocate about how to plan for safety or how you can assist a friend that may be experiencing domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Is Hard and Dangerous To Escape

The abuser in a relationship can make it very difficult or dangerous for a victim to find safety or leave a relationship.  Some of the tactics used above are repeated or intensified when a victim leaves.  In fact, a victim’s risk of getting killed by an abuser greatly increases when they are in the process of leaving or have just left a relationship.  If you are thinking of leaving a relationship or know of someone who is thinking about or trying to leave a relationship, please share the 24-Hour Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline number with them, 1.800.33.HAVEN (1.800.334.2836) V/TTY. A domestic violence advocate will answer the phone and can offer some plans for safety and other resources.

Common Feelings People Have When They Are Being Abused

A person that is abused may feel confused, depressed, alone, scared, hopeless, angry, wired, humiliated, tired, anxious or numb.  An abused person may feel nothing at all or flooded with a lot of emotions.  Some people that are abused have physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach aches, skin problems or pain throughout the body.  Domestic violence advocates understand that being in an abusive relationship is hard and that leaving can be dangerous.  When you feel the time is right, you can call 1.800.33.HAVEN (1.800.334.2836) V/TTY to talk to a domestic violence advocate about how you are feeling and what you need to stay safe.  You do not have to handle abuse alone.

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