About Domestic Violence
What is domestic violence?

Domestic Violence Can Take Many Forms
The Bethesda House mission broadly addresses violence against women in all forms. Our emphasis on domestic violence speaks to a pervasive issue in the south Alabama community we serve. 
 
Generally speaking, domestic violence occurs when one person uses abusive methods to establish and maintain power and control over another. Domestic violence can occur in different types of relationships - adults and minors in the same household,  adult children and their parents or grandparents, siblings, etc. Domestic violence is pervasive and crosses racial, ethnic, cultural, national, and socio-economic lines. Further, domestic violence can include exploitation of a family member which involves individuals outside of the home, such as through sex trafficking and prostitution. 

Domestic violence which occurs between partners is also called Intimate partner violence (IPV). Although both men and women experience IPV, women are more often the victims. The Power and Control Wheel, developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, provides a strong visual of some of the tactics abusers use to maintain control over victims.  

Some of the most common tactics include: 
  • physical violence
  • sexual violence 
  • emotional abuse
  • verbal abuse 
  • stalking 
  • financial or economic abuse 
  • isolation 
  • intimidation 
 Warning signs
There are warning signs which can help potential victims identify an unhealthy relationship before it becomes abusive. The Domestic Violence Hotline provides an impressive list of behaviors for each of these categories.