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Domestic violence

Domestic violence (also named domestic abuse or family violence) is violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. It may be termed intimate partner violence when committed by a spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other spouse or partner, and can take place in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, or between former spouses or partners. Domestic violence can also involve violence against children, parents, or the elderly. It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation, and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death. Domestic murders include stoning, bride burning, honor killings, and dowry deaths.

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I was four years old, living in Denver Colorado with both parents. Growing up around domestic violence led me to psychological trauma, which led me to a few therapy sessions. I would hate to hear my father scream at my mother, but it was even more shocking to see my own father hit her. I would go under my bed and cry, or go into my closet and shut the door, where it was dark, because that was the only place I felt safe. As a child I never understood why I didn't have a father until now. One day, my mother decided to make a change and leave him and call the police. Now I know it was all for a better. But as a child, it hurt me. Up to this point, I still ask myself, why?

Contributed by Erinn Plascencia

A Child's View of Domestic Violence

The effect DV has on children is often overlooked, but you can easily see how heavily it effects them in their drawings. This is a drawing by an 8 year old child who grew up in a DV ridden household. The words in Spanish read, "This is how I see my father because he often gets angry and drunk and his eyes turn red."

Contributed by Kaitlyn Brielle

During a lecture given by Jan Langbein, the Chief Executive Officer of the Genesis Women's Shelter in 2013, it was brought to my attention that we often do more harm than good when we encourage people who have been abused to leave their situations immediately. It is important to remember that telling a victim to leave immediately is just like telling someone who hasn't ever worked out before that you're going to wake them up early in the morning for a five mile run. It's inconceivable, and can only push the idea further away from reality. Take baby steps with them, help them come around to the idea, make a plan, and alert authorities of it before taking drastic steps that can be hard to swallow for both the victim and the abuser.

Contributed by Kaitlyn Brielle

Domestic violence is very often seen as a "women's issue". In order to combat this issue thoroughly, we have to understand the mere causes. Thus, rationalizing that all men need to come out of their "man box" and help rid this issue.

Contributed by Stephanie Pasco

I was once in a verbally abusive relationship. I allowed the boy to tell me that unless i gave up my sport or my friends that he wouldnt love me. I was weak and I believed him. It took me four months to take a stand against his verbal and sexual abuse towards me. I finally told my mom that I didnt know how to get out and I have never been more greatful for my mom until that day. I encourage all young girls or boys in abusive relationships to seek help from parents and loved ones. The most tragic ending is the one where your loved ones aren't crying next to you

Contributed by Hannah Kolkmeyer

Of course, there may be plenty of other reasons victims of abuse don't leave--threats. But this video depicts the emotional dilemma victims face in an artistic and moving way.

Contributed by Le Hoang

I always hope that I would be strong enough to leave if I were in this situation, but you never know. My heart goes out to anyone battling this.

Contributed by Tori Griffin

Don't be daft, be knowlegable!

Contributed by MayaLin Artega

Signs of abusive teen relationships.

Contributed by Carolin Cruz

Patrick Stewart gives moving speech on Domestic Violence and PTSD.

Contributed by Alicia Kimberly Hauskins

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