Domestic abuse, or domestic violence, is a pattern of controlling or coercive behavior that can include
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse or
- financial abuse (using financial tools to exert control.)
It occurs among all ethnic, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic groups.
Often domestic abuse is kept secret because victims are too afraid or ashamed to come forward. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone, and it is not your fault.
Even if they are not directly affected by it, domestic abuse can have an impact on children who observe it. You should seriously considering getting counseling for any child who has been raised in an environment where domestic abuse has occurred. If you are going through a divorce, the court can divide the costs for such counseling between the parties as it deems appropriate.