Domestic Violence & Elder Abuse

Purple RibbonDomestic violence: A woman's number one health risk. 95% of victims are women.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of coercive control intermittently perpetrated by an individual who uses physical, economic, emotional and or sexual abuse to keep his victim entangled.

Every 15 seconds a domestic violence situation occurs and 2 women in Massachusetts will be murdered every month because of a domestic violence situation. If this is shocking to you it should be. This is a situation that does not have to occur.

Have you ever been the recipient of someone attempting to cause or causing you physical harm, placing you in fear of imminent physical harm, or causing you to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force or threat? Has this happened to you by someone in your family, whether it is your husband, someone you reside with in the same household, a relative by blood or marriage, the father of your child, a man you have been dating or are engaged to? If you can see yourself falling into any of these categories you may be a victim of domestic violence.

If you are having questions about your relationship, or your partner's behavior, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • What do they do when they get angry?
  • Do they attempt to keep you under control?
  • Do they always blame you or others for their problems?
  • Have they ever hit you?
  • When they have been rough with you and you ask them to stop or not do it again, do they?

Some Characteristics Of An Abuser

  • Explosive temper
  • Jealous and possessiveness
  • Unpredictable behavior
  • Denies responsibility for the violence
  • Tries to isolate and control you 

Men's Excuses For Their Behavior

  • Minimizing abuse
  • Citing good intentions for abuse
  • Alcohol or drugs blamed
  • Claiming loss of control
  • Blaming her, someone or something else

Why Women Stay

  • Economic dependency
  • Fear of retaliation on her, the children or family
  • She loves her partner
  • Religious beliefs
  • Believes she can change the abuser's behavior

These are only a few of the questions or characteristics that make up an abuser and his victim, there are many more. But these few should give you a good idea on whether you are a victim or possibly an abuser.

How You Can Help

  • If you see or hear an assault in progress, call the Police
  • Let her know that you support and care about her
  • Tell her she is not responsible, that only the abuser can stop the violence
  • Inform her it's likely, in spite of his promises, that the violence will continue and probably escalate
  • Emphasize that when she is ready to leave or to get help that there is help available

View the list of additional Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse resources