What is domestic violence?

It is a pattern of controlling behaviors – violence or threats of violence – that one person uses to establish power over an intimate partner. Domestic violence is not a disagreement or a marital spat. Domestic violence is abusive, disrespectful, and hurtful behavior that one intimate partner uses to control the action and activity of the other.

You may be experiencing domestic violence if your partner is doing any of these -- or any other unwanted behaviors:

  • Hurting you physically – slapping, hair pulling, strangling, hitting, kicking, grabbing, excessively squeezing or shaking, twisting your arms, burning you, or intentionally injuring you in any way
  • Using your children against you
  • Calling you names and hurting you emotionally
  • Harming your pets
  • Acting with extreme jealousy and possessiveness
  • Isolating you from (keeping you away from) family and friends
  • Threatening to commit suicide or to kill you
  • Controlling your money
  • Withholding medical help
  • Stalking you
  • Demanding sex or unwanted sex practices
  • Withholding medical help
  • Hiding assistive devices
  • Minimizing the destructive behavior
  • Threatening to “out” you if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transsexual, or transgender
  • Controlling you with “that certain look in his eyes” or certain gestures

If you are a victim of abuse, you are never to blame. It is not your fault. All of the tactics above are abusive, and some may also constitute a crime under Florida Statutes.

Source: Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Resources

Still have questions?

If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.

How do I apply? Am I eligible?

Call (800) 625-2257

to apply for service.

Or complete our online application

and we will call you back.