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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together, or who are dating. Partner abuse and partner violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Domestic violence may be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse can be:

  • Physical.
  • Sexual.
  • Emotional.
  • Psychological.
  • Economic.

Such actions (or threats of actions) may:

  • Frighten.
  • Intimidate.
  • Terrorize.
  • Manipulate.
  • Hurt.
  • Humiliate.
  • Blame.
  • Injure, or wound someone.
Rhode Island Domestic Violence Fact Sheet (PDF)
National Domestic Violence Fact Sheet (PDF)
Local Resources for Abused Women

Are You Being Abused?

Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether or not you are in an emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive relationship.

Personalized Safety Plan

Staying safe must be your first consideration. Here are some of the things to think about before you decide it's time to leave.

Obstacles to Leaving a Violent Relationship

Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult for many reasons. Learn more about the hurdles many women encounter while trying to leave.