Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to gain power and control over an intimate partner or family member. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, education, religion, disability status, or sexual orientation. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It can happen within any type of intimate partner or family relationship – married, cohabiting, or dating couples, child abuse, incest, etc.
Abuse can take many forms and often escalates over time.