Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

“Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.”

“Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.”


Ohio Revised Code Definition (ORC 2919.25):

The criminal law defines DV as doing any of the following to a family or household member:

Knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm

Recklessly causing serious physical harm

By threat or force knowingly causing another to believe the offender will cause imminent physical harm



Social Definition:

Domestic Violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partner.

The Domestic Violence Statistics

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. 

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Courtesy of the CDC

Domestic Violence in Ohio

  • In 2010, there were 70,717 calls for domestic violence incidents, including those incidents in which no charges were filed. Of these, 47.4 percent resulted in domestic violence, protection order, or consent agreement charges being filed. Approximately 10 percent resulted in other charges being filed, and 43 percent resulted in no charges being filed (or the incident did not meet domestic violence criteria). i

  • In Ohio in 2013, there were 38 domestic violence fatalities. ii

  • On one day in September 2014 in Ohio, 943 domestic violence victims (481 children and 462 adults) found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs. iii

  • 896 adults and children received non-residential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy, and children’s support groups for domestic violence in Ohio on a single day in September of 2014.iv

  • Domestic violence hotlines are a lifeline for victims in danger, providing support, information, safety planning, and resources. In the 24-hour survey period, Ohio hotlines answered 659 calls, averaging more than 27 hotline calls every hour. V


Ohio Attorney General's Office, 2010 Domestic Violence Report 

Attorney General of Ohio BC&I, 2013 Domestic Violence Reports

National Network to End Domestic Violence (2015). 2014 domestic violence counts: A 24-hour census of domestic violence shelters and services. 



  • A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.3

  • 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder-suicides are female.8


David I.  Swedler, Molly M.  Simmons, Francesca   Dominici, David  Hemenway. (2015) Firearm Prevalence and Homicides of Law Enforcement Officers in the United States. American Journal of Public Health 105:10, 2042-2048. Online publication date: 10-Sep-2015.

Read more here.

Recognizing the signs of violence

Physical Abuse:

Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.

Sexual Abuse:

Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.

Emotional Abuse:

Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.

Economic Abuse:

Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.

Psychological Abuse:

Elements of psychological abuse include  - but are not limited to - causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.



Red Flags and Warning Signs of an Abuser

  • Extreme jealousy

  • Possessiveness

  • Cruelty to animals

  • Extremely controlling behavior

  • Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens

  • Sabotage or obstruction of the victim’s ability to work or attend school

  • Accusations of the victim flirting with others or having an affair

  • Control of what the victim wears and how they act

What is IPV?

The term "intimate partner violence" describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.”