Relationship Violence/Domestic Violence/Abuse

If you or someone you know is being abused, confidential help is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week at 29-ALERT (292-5378).


Relationship violence, also known as dating violence, domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of violence in any intimate relationship where one person inflicts physical or emotional pain on a partner in order to gain or maintain power and control over their partner.*

Examples include, but are not limited to, unwanted:
  • Control of finances
  • Including taking wages or putting someone on allowance
  • Insisting on knowing the other person's whereabouts at all times
  • Intimidation through words, treats, or acts of violence
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Making all the important decisions
  • Name calling, taunts, constant criticism or put-downs
  • Ridiculing of religious faith or using religion as a means of control
  • Threatened or completed violence towards a person's body, possessions, pets, or children
  • Relationship violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, sex, age, race, ethnicity, strength, sexual orientation, size, religion, and ability. It can happen between heterosexual and same-sex married couples, dating couples, or ex-partners.
Relationship violence is not about love - it is about maintaining control and power. Refer to the power and control wheel and equity wheel for a description of the different types of violence. **

If you are being abused, consider taking the following actions:

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911
  • Try to avoid wearing scarves or long jewelry that can be used to strangle you
  • Create a safety plan and practice how to get out safely
  • Have a bag of important documents prepared, hidden from the abuser. Be sure to include legal documents, your driver's license, spare keys, money, medication, clothes, etc.
  • Consider filing for a Pro Se no contact or protective order at the county courthouse. A Pro Se no contact or protective order is a court order telling the abuser to stop harming, harassing, or threatening you***

If someone you know is a victim of relationship abuse, here are ways you can help.

  • Avoid shaming them
  • Remember that your friend did not ask to be abused and it is difficult to get out of a relationship due to finances, children, and lack of support system.
  • Develop a safety plan with them
  • Help them develop a safety plan and practice it.
  • Listen
  • Listen to them and let them know you support them.
  • Provide resources
  • Explain to them their options without making decisions for them or pushing them to make a decision. When they are ready, they will make the choice to leave. ACCESS can help them with the first step of the process. You can refer to our Online Resources page for more information.