Understand DV

Domestic violence affects everyone. We all have a role in preventing it.

Senior woman with a serious expression, her husband is out of focus in backgroundWe define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

One in three women and one in four men will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that a woman is killed by a spouse, ex-spouse or dating partner every 14 hours in America. It happens to women and men, straight and gay, of all ages, socioeconomic levels, cultures and ethnicities. But domestic abuse isn’t just about a punch or a slap, relentless criticism or forced isolation. It doesn’t just happen to one individual, behind closed doors, in one home. Unchecked violence that begins in the home permeates into the community and adds to a culture of acceptability that weakens the quality of life for all of us. Violence infects communities and affects everyone.

Dawn believes we can reverse these statistics — first, by empowering survivors through comprehensive programs and services to keep them safe and second, by engaging our entire community in addressing and preventing violence.