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  • Jenci Spradlin

Is it domestic violence?

Domestic violence is not “an isolated incident,” “a lovers’ quarrel” or “a private family matter.” It is a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviors that one person in an intimate relationship uses against another. Every relationship has ups and downs, but domestic violence includes repeated behaviors with the aim of coercion and control. People who use violence try to control aspects of a partner’s life through fear, threats, manipulation, and other tactics. Sometimes–but not always–people use physical and/or sexual violence as a way to dominate an intimate partner.

Domestic violence does not have to include physical violence, and many individuals may not realize that they are in a unhealthy relationship because "he/she doesn't hit me." Do you see any of these behaviors in your relationship?


• Belittling

• Insulting

• Name-calling

• Threatening to hurt or kill

• Yelling


• Accusing

• Blaming

• Criticizing friends and family

• Intimidating

• Isolating


• Pressuring or forcing sexual acts

• Wanting sex after abuse


• Choking/strangling

• Hurting or killing pets

• Kicking

• Punching

• Pushing/shoving

• Slapping


• Controlling or withholding money

• Not allowing someone to seek medical care or counseling

• Not providing adequate support for children

• Running up debt or destroying credit

Remember, you are not alone! WRAP advocates are here to support you in your own decision-making. We will provide information, a non-judgmental ear, and offer resources, but YOU make all the decisions. Call our free and confidential helpline at 800-273-8712 or complete our online Contact Us form so we can connect with you.


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