What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is when a family member or someone close to you abuses you in a physical, sexual, verbal or mental way. An abuser can be male or female, and abuse can happen in heterosexual or gay relationships. Some examples of abuse are: your partner tries to control your life by taking your money, keeping you from going to work and school, or constantly criticizing and putting you down; your partner punches, shoves, or chokes you – or threatens to do so; your partner forces you to have sex with him/her or refuses to use protection when you have sex.