What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of intimidating, controlling behavior in an intimate or familial relationship that compels the victim to submit to the abuser’s wishes. The use or threat of physical, emotional or sexual violence allows the abuser to assert and maintain power and control over their victim. Believing they have the right to control the victim by any means necessary, abusers often are unable to acknowledge any real harm in their abusive behavior.

Violence by an intimate partner are the most common causes of injury to women in our society-exceeding the number of injuries from auto accidents, muggings and rapes combined. In Maine, where domestic violence is the leading cause of homicide, more than 20% of all reported domestic assaults happen in York County.

Domestic violence and abuse happens to, and is perpetrated by, people of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, income levels and educational backgrounds. There is no group of people that is not affected by domestic abuse.