Domestic Violence - The Network

Domestic Violence & Abuse

UNDERSTAND, RECOGNIZE
AND ADDRESS IT

Domestic violence refers to a pattern of harmful behaviors used by one person to maintain power and control over another within the context of a dating, family or household relationship. The types of harm that occur in relationships are not always physical; they can also be emotional, psychological, verbal, financial, economic, social, reproductive, institutional, and health-based.

Domestic violence is maintained by societal and cultural attitudes, institutions, and laws which are not consistent in naming this violence as wrong. Scroll through this page learn how The Network uses terminology and defines aspects of abuse.

HOW IT HAPPENS

Abuse & Violence Can
Show Up In These Ways

Verbal Abuse

Using words can be a powerful way to demean, criticize, hurt, misdirect anger, and manipulate.

Emotional Abuse

Undermining an individual’s self worth or self esteem, including by diminishing their abilities, name calling and put downs, blaming them, damaging a partner’s relationship with their children, damaging their reputation, gaslighting them, or minimizing or denying abuse that is occurring.

Psychological Abuse

Causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to themself, their partner, children, or family; hurting pets; isolating them; destroying property; using social privilege, such as race, ability, or immigration status to demean, intimidate, or threaten them; forcing isolation; threatening to out their gender or sexual identity or immigration status.

Economic Abuse

Making their partner financially dependent by maintaining control over financial resources, damaging their credit, withholding access to their money, limiting attendance at school or work, or sabotaging job opportunities.

Sexual and Reproductive Abuse

Sexual assault or sexual violence, attacking the victim’s body, forcing sex after physical violence, manipulating means of birth control, or engaging in any non-consensual sexual behavior.

Physical Abuse

Hitting, slapping, pinching, shoving, grabbing, biting, burning, strangulation attempts and choking, forcing them to endure sleep deprivation, driving recklessly, denying medical care, or forcing them to use alcohol or drugs.

KNOW THE SIGNS

If you suspect a friend, coworker, or loved one is being abused, look out for these signs:

Unexplained 
injuries, bruising, or other pains

Wearing unseasonable clothing—like
long sleeves 
in the summer

Appearing withdrawn or not as social as they used to be

Acting fearful around their partner

Being quiet and letting their partner answer questions or speak for them

Symptoms of depression or trauma, including exhaustion, confusion, isolation, and panic

Blaming themselves for their partner’s anger or dissatisfaction

Minimizing or denying arguing, fighting, or abuse within the household

Ignoring their own 
mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs

Frequent visits to the doctor or hospital for unexplained or odd reasons

Missing work or social obligations more often than usual

Unexplained 
injuries, bruising, or other pains

Wearing unseasonable clothing—like
long sleeves 
in the summer

Appearing withdrawn or not as social as they used to be

Acting fearful around their partner

Being quiet and letting their partner answer questions or speak for them

Symptoms of depression or trauma, like panic, confusion, isolation, and exhaustion

Blaming themselves for their partner’s anger or dissatisfaction

Minimizing or denying arguing, fighting, or abuse within the household

Ignoring their own 
mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs

Frequent visits to the doctor or hospital for unexplained or odd reasons

Missing work or social obligations more often than usual

HOW TO HELP

Listen to them.

You may be the first person your friend, coworker, or loved one has told about the abuse. Validate their feelings by letting them know you believe them, you’re sorry this happened to them, and you are here to listen and support them.

Create a safe space.

Let them know you are a safe person to talk to. Validate them
and let them share as they feel comfortable. Don’t press for details. Thank them for trusting you

Share resources.

Connect them to resources that can help, and let them decide whom to contact, if they want to contact anyone, and when to do it. Taking the first (or second or third) step to get help is hard, and can often put victims of abuse at greater risk.

HOW TO HELP

Listen to them.

You may be the first person your friend, coworker, or loved one has told about the abuse. Validate their feelings by letting them know you believe them, you’re sorry this happened to them, and you are here to listen and support them.

Create a safe space.

Let them know you are a safe person to talk to. Validate them
and let them share as they feel comfortable. Don’t press for details. Thank them for trusting you

Share resources.

Connect them to resources that can help, and let them decide whom to contact, if they want to contact anyone, and when to do it. Taking the first (or second or third) step to get help is hard, and can often put victims of abuse at greater risk.

CALL OR TEXT

877-863-6338 (877-TO END DV) or click the button below to reach the Illinois Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline, available 24/7, 365 days a year.

SURVIVOR CRISIS FUND

The Network has an emergency crisis fund for survivors of domestic violence to address critical gaps in the safety net for survivors.

More information about the Survivor Crisis Fund and how to access funds are available below.

SURVIVOR CRISIS FUND

AND ADDRESS IT

The Network has an emergency crisis fund for survivors of domestic violence to address critical gaps in the safety net for survivors.

More information about the Survivor Crisis Fund and how to access funds are available below.

SURVIVOR CRISIS FUND

AND ADDRESS IT

The Network has an emergency crisis fund for survivors of domestic violence to address critical gaps in the safety net for survivors.

More information about the Survivor Crisis Fund and how to access funds are available below.