Knowing the Signs
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.
what is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any type of forced or coerced sexual contact or behavior that happens without consent. Sexual assault includes rape and attempted rape, child molestation, and sexual harassment or threats.
what is Rape?
Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape. The term rape is often used as a legal definition to specifically include sexual penetration without consent.
Force doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics.
what is force?
Healthy relationships allow both partners to feel supported and connected but still feel independent. Communication and boundaries are the two major components of a healthy relationship. Ultimately, the two people in the relationship decide what is healthy for them and what is not. If something doesn’t feel right, you should have the freedom to voice your concerns to your partner.
Communication allows you and your partner to have a deep understanding of each other, and allows you to connect. In a healthy relationship with good communication, both partners:
- Treat each other with respect
- Speak openly to one another about thoughts and feelings
- Feel heard when expressing feelings
- Listen to each other and compromise
- Do not criticize each other
- Feel supported to do the things they like
- Celebrate each other’s accomplishments and successes
Each person should be able to express to their partner what they are and are not comfortable with, when it comes to sex life, finances, family and friends, personal space and time. In a healthy relationship with boundaries, both partners:
- Allow each other to spend time with friends and family
- Do not abuse technology to check on a partner
- Trust each other and not require their partner to “check in”
- Do not pressure the other to do things that they don’t want to do
- Do not constantly accuse the other of cheating or being unfaithful