Domestic violence, also known as battering, is a pattern of behavior where one person tries to control the thoughts, beliefs or actions of a partner, friend or any other person close to them. While the violence may cause injury, it does not have to be physical. Domestic violence also takes the form of emotional, verbal, mental, sexual and economic abuse.
Domestic violence and sexual assault affect children, teenagers and young adults both directly and indirectly. Children live in homes where they witness and experience domestic violence, threatening their safety and sense of security. Children and teens may experience physical and sexual violence by people they know or by strangers.
More than 20% of teenage girls and boys in 8th through 12th grade report being physically or sexually hurt by a date; this statistic is both staggering and unacceptable.
Are you with someone who; is jealous and possessive toward you, won't let you have friends, checks up on you, won´t accept breaking up? Tries to control you by being very bossy, giving orders, making all the decisions? Is scary? You worry about how they will react to things you say or do? Threatens you, uses or owns weapons? Is violent: has a history of fighting, loses temper quickly, brags about mistreating others? Attempts to manipulate or guilt-trip you by saying "if you really loved me you would.....". Says you provoked them, pressed their buttons, made them do it, led them on?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions in thinking about yourself or someone you know, help is available.
In emergency situations, call 911.
In Massachusetts: Safelink (24 hour hotline) 1-877-785-2020.
Outside Massachusetts: National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE.