Frequently Asked Questions

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Have you or has anyone you know experienced physical, emotional or sexual violence perpetrated by an intimate partner? If so, you or they are experiencing domestic violence, a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.

Domestic violence affects individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality. It can result in bodily injury, psychological trauma and, in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.

Learning the signs of domestic violence may make it easier to recognize yourself or a loved one in an abusive situation. Too often, it goes unacknowledged or excused away, so the abuse escalates and becomes more intense or frequent. In 2014, Georgia police responded to over 65,000 reports of domestic violence.

Today, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, yet most cases are never reported to the police. Survivors may not report abuse for various emotional, logistical and financial reasons or out of fear of retaliation. Abusers often use guilt against their partner to rationalize this inexcusable behavior. In addition to physical pain, their abuse can also destroy the victim’s sense of self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make them feel trapped, helpless and isolated. If you are feeling like you may be in an abusive relationship, know that it is not your fault and you are not alone.

Domestic violence is a problem that affects not just individual survivors, but their families and the community as a whole. Understanding the vast scope of domestic violence helps lessen any stigma or bias, increases prevention and fosters community consciousness. We hope that through awareness and support we can end the cycle of abuse and give individuals their lives back.

Yes, there are three common types of domestic violence: physical, emotional, and verbal.


Can include hitting, kicking, use of a weapon, choking, forcing you to perform sexual acts without consent, or any other action that affects your body in a negative way.


Putting you down or making you feel bad about yourself, calling you names, treating you like a servant, making decisions for you, isolating you from the world, using children to manipulate you.


Threats (even if they are not carried out), including threatening to take children, commit suicide, or report you to DFCS. Also intimidation to instill fear by raising voice, making gestures, and destruction of property.

  • Do you constantly worry about how your partner will react to something?
  • Do you worry because your partner often gets jealous and suspicious of your actions?
  • Do you worry what will happen if you have a fight or if your partner has too much to drink?
  • Have you ever been hit, kicked, slapped, choked/strangled, pushed or shoved?
  • Does your partner make most of the decisions in the relationship?
  • Does your partner threaten to keep you from any financial independence?
  • Have the important things in your life suffered, i.e. your job, relationships, responsibilities?
  • Do you ever feel threatened or frightened in your relationship?
  • Is your partner overly critical of you?
  • Has your partner forced you to engage in sexual activities you didn’t want to engage in?
  • Has your partner endangered your health? Have they kept medication from you, kept you from eating or sleeping or kept you from going to the doctor?
  • Are you worried for your children’s safety?
  • Respect their thoughts and feelings, even if you disagree or you cannot sympathize
  • Make sure to listen, let them talk at their own pace and ask questions when appropriate
  • Let them make their own decisions without passing judgment
  • Try NOT to use blaming language like “Why don’t you just leave?”, “Why do you let him/her treat you like that?” or offer opinionated statements like “He/She doesn’t love you,” or “if I were you…”
  • DO say “I am concerned for you,” “Are you afraid?”, “Have you thought of what you want to do?”

Reference the personalized safety plan for ideas on staying safe. You may view it in your browser or print it and fill it in yourself.

Download Your Personalized Safety Plan (PDF)

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