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Domestic violence is a pattern of forceful, controlling behavior in an intimate relationship that compels the victim to submit to the abuser’s wishes. The use or threat of physical, emotional or sexual abuse is an issue of power and control for the abuser. Believing they have the right to control the victim by any means necessary, abusers often are unable to see any real harm in their abusive behavior.
Domestic violence is the most common cause 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, an estimated 60,000 women are abused each year, with as many as 8,000 of them living in York County.
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence happens in households of all ages, races, sexual orientations, ethnic, religious, economic and educational backgrounds. There is no group of people that is not affected by domestic violence.
Domestic violence isolates the victim and depletes her inner strength, self-worth and ability to make her own decisions. She begins to believe she the abuse is her fault.
Domestic violence traumatizes children, making it difficult for them to feel safe in the world. Children almost always believe the abuse is their fault.