Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors–including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion–used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.
For more general information about domestic violence, including potential warning signs for emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline's information page: Get Educated – What is Domestic Violence.
Break the Cycle also provides more information about patterns of abuse and behaviors commonly experienced by youth in dating relationships.
Domestic Violence: Understanding the Basics by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and VAWnet, the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women (November 2012)
This 1-hour eLearning module describes the dynamics and common tactics that characterize domestic violence, provides an overview of the scope and impact on individuals and society, explores the underlying factors that allow domestic violence to exist, offers insight into the various risks and choices that survivors face, and shares how to be part of the solution. Divided into 10 sections addressing common questions related to domestic violence, this course will help new advocates, allied professionals, students, and the general public achieve a basic understanding of this complex issue.
NOTE: This eLearning module is not visible on mobile devices unless flash enabled.
Key tips are provided below, and may be downloaded and printed for distribution, to help people of any age understand how to prevent and end domestic violence.