Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” He uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and gain complete power over you. He may threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.
Victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence may be men or women, although women are more commonly victimized. This abuse happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. Except for the gender difference, domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate. It happens within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and financial levels. The abuse may occur during a relationship, while the couple is breaking up, or after the relationship has ended.
Despite what many people believe, domestic violence is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his behavior. In fact, violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to take control over his wife or partner.