Domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence, is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans and many Vermonters.
Domestic violence is a pattern of assault and coercive behaviors that may include actual or threatened physical injury and sexual assault, psychological abuse, economic coercion and various other tactics. These behaviors are perpetrated by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship with an adult or adolescent, are aimed at establishing control by one partner over the other, and result in an atmosphere of fear and/or terror for the victim.
This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy. Domestic violence can vary in frequency and severity. Perpetrators of domestic violence use a variety of different tactics to control their victim. These behaviors exist along a continuum and an abuser may never actually physically hurt their victim, but that doesn’t mean that domestic violence isn’t happening.
Help is available. Explore this website for helplines, actions to take, resources, supports, and more information.