Domestic Violence (also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), dating abuse, or relationship abuse is a pattern of behavior used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.

Congress designated October Domestic Violence Awareness Prevention Month (DVAPM) in 1989 to raise awareness of this important issue affecting millions of people. In fact, 1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 men, and 1 in 2 trans and non-binary individuals experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime.

Many people think that domestic violence only affects certain people or think that it could never happen to them, but it is very common. An initial thought may lead you to believe that DV only encompasses hitting or any form of physical abuse. Domestic Violence covers so much more than just the physical aspect, it also includes emotional and verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and stalking.

There are many ways to identify abuse or warning signs you should be aware of. Your partner should never do things such as:

  • Check your phone, email, or social media accounts without your permission.
  • Put you down frequently, especially in front of others
  • Isolate you from friends and family (financially, physically, or emotionally)
  • Pressure or force you to have sex
  • Harm you physically

If you have experienced any of the following listed above or know someone who has it is important to create a safety plan and seek help. A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan to improve your safety while experiencing abuse, preparing to leave an abusive situation, or after you leave. This plan includes information specific to your unique situation and will help you prepare for and respond to different scenarios, including telling your friends and family about your situation, coping with emotions, and various resources suited to your individual circumstances.

If you or someone you know is a victim of Domestic Violence, you DON’T have to suffer in silence. There are many resources available to help. The Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7. You can speak to someone by calling 1-800-799-7233. For more information, you can also contact or visit:

National Dating Abuse Helpline 

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 
1-800-537-2238 and

You can also help victims of domestic abuse who have pets escape and heal together by checking out the Purple Leash Project. sponsored by Purina. For more information, you can visit:

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