Q: What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.
Q: What is Sexual Assault?
The term “sexual assault” generally means unwanted sexual contact, or in other words sexual contact against your will, and without consent. The legal definition varies by state, but sexual assault and domestic violence organizations consider any unwanted sexual contact or activity, including rape, to be sexual assault.
Sometimes, people are sexually assaulted or raped by strangers, but even more often, people are sexually assaulted by someone they know – a friend, date, relative, acquaintance, or even a long-time partner or spouse. There is often overlap between domestic violence and sexual assault because one of the ways abusers harm their partners is through sexual assault.
Sexual assault or rape can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, or sexual orientation.
Q: I’m ready to leave, what now?
No one deserves to be abused. If you are in an abusive relationship, and you feel that you are ready to leave the abuser, here are some tips to help keep you as safe as possible when preparing to leave.
Following these suggestions (often known as a safety plan) can’t guarantee your safety, but it could help make you safer. However, it is important that you create a safety plan that is right for you. Not all of these suggestions will work for everyone, and some could even place you in greater danger. You have to do what you think is best to keep yourself and your children safe.
Q: I want to help. What can I do?
There are a lot of ways you can help prevent Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Spreading the word about our organization is one simple way. Our clients are in need everyday, clothing, furniture, school supplies, transportation and so much more. Volunteer - you will and can make a difference