***If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1***
Domestic violence is not usually an isolated, individual event, but a pattern of behaviors used against the victim.
The pattern consists of a variety of abusive acts, occurring in multiple episodes over the course of the relationship. Some episodes consist of a sustained attack with one behavior repeated many times (punching), combined with a variety of other behaviors (name-calling, threats, destruction of property). Other episodes consist of a single act (a slap, a "certain look"). One behavior (physical assault) may be used infrequently, while other types of abuse (name-calling, intimidating gestures) may occur daily. Battering episodes may last a minute to several hours or even days. While some batterers repeat a particular set of abusive acts, others use a wide variety of tactics with no particular routine.
Using Coercion and Making Threats: Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt you; threatening to leave you, commit suicide, report you to welfare/CPS; trying to get you to change your story in court; forcing you to do illegal things.
Using Economic Abuse: Preventing you from getting or keeping a job; making you ask for money; giving you an allowance; taking your money; not letting you know about or have access to family income.
Using Male Privilege: Treating you like a servant; not letting you make decisions; acting like the 'king of the castle"; being the one to define men's and women's roles.
Using Children: Making you feel guilty about the children; using the children to relay messages; using visitation to harass you; threatening to take the children away; using the children to force you into having contact.
Using Intimidation: Making you afraid by using looks, gestures, actions; smashing things; destroying your property; abusing pets; displaying weapons; hitting walls; throwing things.
Using Emotional Abuse: Putting you down; making you feel bad about yourself; calling you names; making you think you're crazy; playing mind games; humiliating you; making you feel guilty; getting you hooked on drugs and/or alcohol.
Using Isolation: Controlling what you do, who you see and talk to, what you read, where you go; limiting your outside involvement; using jealousy to justify actions; not allowing you to have contact with other family members.
Minimizing, Denying, Blaming: Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns about it seriously; saying the abuse didn't happen; saying you caused the abuse; saying drugs and/or alcohol caused the abuse. Each episode of domestic violence is connected to together. One battering episode builds on past episodes and sets the stage for future episodes. Batterer's often refer to past episodes ["Remember the last time?"] and make threats about the future as a way to maintain control. All parts of the pattern interact with each other and can have profound physical and emotional effects on the victims of domestic violence.