Domestic violence is the systematic use of physical, emotional, economic, spiritual and/or sexual abuse tactics used to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner or other family members.
Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, economic and/or psychological abuse. It affects people of all ages, sexual orientations, religions, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels, and takes place in all kinds of relationships.
Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship intended to purposely hurt or scare a partner.
This behavior can take the form of physical, sexual, psychological, and/or emotional violence and can occur in person or electronically. Dating violence is often associated with young adults, as they are often making their way through the dating scene. Abuse does not discriminate toward races, cultures, incomes, ages, education levels, or sexual orientations; it can happen to anyone.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. This crime occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will. Force, fraud, or coercion need not be present if the individual engaging in commercial sex is under 18 years of age.
Sexual assault is a crime of power and control. The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Sexual assaults are not about sex, but power and control over the victim.
Some forms of sexual assault include:
Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape
Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
Stalking is a pattern of behavior that makes you feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. It is when someone repeatedly contacts you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don’t want them to, or threatens you.
Stalking is a crime and can be dangerous. The legal definition of stalking and possible punishment for it is different in every state. Contact an advocate or your local police to learn about stalking laws and your right.