Domestic Violence

Each year over two million people -- mostly women -- fall victim to domestic violence. Everyone in the household is affected. Once you're in the cycle of abuse, it's often difficult to get out. How does it affect you and your family? What can you do to protect yourself? Here are some answers.

What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence occurs when one family member or intimate partner willfully intimidates, physically and/or sexually assaults, or verbally abuses another family member, spouse, or partner. It usually continues over a long period of time and gets more frequent and severe over time.

Types of Abuse: The abuse is not limited to physical harm or "battering." A victim can be sexually or psychologically abused as well. Often a victim is hurt in more than one of these ways. Here are the main types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse includes hitting, slapping, kicking, pushing, punching, choking, being hit with an object or a weapon, being held down or left in a dangerous place, etc.

  • Sexual abuse is when a person is forced to participate in sexual activity or situation against his or her will.

  • Psychological or emotional abuse is when a person is threatened, intimidated, humiliated, yelled at, blamed, made to feel inferior or stupid, other otherwise emotionally hurt.

Who are the Victims?

Anyone regardless of age, gender, race, socio-economic status, education, or religion can be a victim of domestic violence. Most victims are female. Here are some additional characteristics that may put you at a higher risk, if they apply to you:

  • Between the ages of 17 and 28

  • Single, divorced, or separated

  • Abuse alcohol or drugs or your partner does

  • Pregnant

  • Excessively jealous or possessive partner

    Marine Corps Installations Command, MCICOM