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What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is a pattern of control and abusive behavior to gain compliance over an intimate partner or others residing in the same home. Abuse affects ALL people; it knows no boundaries.

You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:

  1. Calls you names, insults you, or continually criticizes you.
  2. Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  3. Tries to keep you away from family or friends.
  4. Monitors where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with.
  5. Punishes you by withholding affection.
  6. Expects you to ask permission.
  7. Threatens to hurt you, your children, your family, or your pets. Humiliates you in any way.

You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner:

  1. Damages property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
  2. Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked, or choked you.
  3. Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
  4. Scared you by driving recklessly.
  5. Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  6. Forced you to leave your home.
  7. Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
  8. Prevented you from calling the police or seeking medical attention.
  9. Hurt your children.

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:

  1. Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
  2. Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
  3. Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
  4. Has ever forced or manipulated you into having sex or performing sexual acts.
  5. Used physical force in sexual situations.
  6. Held you down during sex.
  7. Demanded sex when you were sick, tired, or after beating you.
  8. Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
  9. Involved other people in sexual activities with you.
  10. Ignored your feelings regarding sex.

You may be in a financially abusive relationship if your partner:

  1. Takes your money and gives you an allowance.
  2. Controls finances or refuses to share money.
  3. Disrupts your sleep so that you can’t perform well at your place of employment.
  4. Does not want you to work.
  5. Stalks you at your place of employment.
  6. Runs up credit card debt in your name.

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions you may be in an abusive relationship.

You can contact the Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center anytime at 724-224-1266 if you would like to talk. Our services are free and confidential.


Plan to maintain your safety and the safety of your family.

Know where you can get help

Keep a list of important phone numbers (police, domestic violence hotline, hospital) with you. 

Plan with your children. Identify a safe place for them (room with a lock, neighbor’s house). Let them know that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.

Arrange a signal with a neighbor for when you need help.

Establish a “code word” that will signal to family or friends that you need help.

Prepare an emergency kit

Make sure it is something that you can get to quickly. You may want to keep it at a trusted friend’s/neighbor’s house.

Include the following items:

  1. Extra set of car and house keys
  2. Money, food stamps, checkbook, credit cards, pay stubs, birth certificates, and social security cards for you and your children.
  3. Driver’s license or other photo identification
  4. Green card/work permit
  5. Health insurance cards, medication for you and your children. 
  6. Deed or lease to your house or apartment
  7. Any court papers or orders
  8. Change of clothes for you and your children
  9. Small toys for children.

Plan the safest time to getaway

Know which doors, windows, etc. provide an escape. Practice with your children for an emergency.

Get medical help

If necessary, seek medical attention right away. Make sure to explain what happened and ask for documentation. Have the doctor, nurse or a friend take pictures of your injuries/bruises. Save any ripped or bloody clothes.

Call a 24-hour domestic violence program hotline

Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center
24-hour HOTLINE: 724-224-1266

To locate a domestic violence program in your specific area call the
National DV Hotline at 800-799-7233.

Are you caught in the cycle of violence?