What is Abuse?

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions, or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone. To learn specific actions that constitute abuse, please download this illustration of the Power and Control Wheel courtesy of the National Center of Domestic and Sexual Violence.

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Power and Control Wheel