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Behavioral Health

What is Domestic Violence (DV)?

Domestic Violence (DV) is a pattern of behavior used by an individual to establish and maintain power and control over another individual.

Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Violence

My partner shoves and slaps me. Is that domestic violence?
Yes. There are many forms of physical assault (scratching, burning, restraining, hitting, shoving, spitting, etc). There are many kinds of DV, sexual assault, economic control, emotional and psychological abuse to name a few.

What types of psychological abuse are used?
Victims are traumatized with threats of violence, destruction of property, harming pets, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, verbal abuse and use of children to maintain control over the victim.

Who are the victims of DV?
Victims can be found in all races, socioeconomic, education, occupational, religious, sexual orientation and personality groups. Victimization is due to behaviors of the abuser, not to the personal characteristics of the victims. 

Why does the victim continue to live with the abuser?
There are many explanations, including fear of more severe violence, economic dependence, lack of a support system, fear of losing the children, religious beliefs or immigration status. Statistics indicate that 75% of domestic violence homicides occur after the victim leaves. Leaving is a process, not a single act.

Is there a way out of the DV trap?
Yes. Victims can get help. Domestic violence is illegal. Law enforcement and judicial systems of Pierce County are working together to stop violence and hold those who commit domestic violence accountable for their behavior. Victim services cover a broad spectrum of needs to assist with leaving a relationship.

To request information on DV services, call 1-888-445-8120