What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner or family member. It isn’t just physical or sexual violence. There are many forms of abuse, including emotional, economic, psychological, coercive, isolating, and stalking. Incidents of domestic violence are a cycle of coercive behavior that can be shown through a power and control wheel (below).
Domestic violence exists in all communities (including the San Juan Islands) and affects all ages, ethnicities, genders, cultures, religions, professions, and income levels. Domestic violence is a choice made by an abuser to control their partner. It is NOT a survivor’s fault or caused by their behavior or actions.