Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Help Available

Help for Victims, Family and Friends

Is it abuse?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive tactics, which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.

Domestic violence is also called domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, or dating violence. It may include sexual assault. People most often think of domestic violence as physical abuse, but that’s only part of the picture. Many victims are never physically or sexually assaulted but are controlled and terrorized by their partners’ use of non-physical tactics such as: verbal, emotional/psychological abuse; coercion and threats; isolation; minimizing, denying, blaming; using children; intimidation; and economic abuse.

If you or someone you know is being abused. . .


Finding Safety and Support is a comprehensive guide for both survivors and helpers with up-to-date information about the problem of adult domestic violence, safety planning, and getting help from domestic violence services, the police, and the courts.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted…

More Helpful Resources