On Friday May 1st, the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence is pleased to bring national experts Gael Strack, JD and Ralph Riviello, MD, to Maine for a day-long training called Addressing Strangulation: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach.
Coercive behavior can include physical violence, sexual assault, emotional and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse and threats, stalking, isolation, harm to children, economic control, destruction of personal property, and animal cruelty.
There are a lot of myths about domestic violence, and it is important to remember that this behavior is purposeful and chosen… And it is never the fault of the victim.
While healthy intimate relationships experience ups and downs, when behavior by one person consistently tears down the other person, whether emotionally, physically, sexually, mentally, spiritually, or economically, this is abuse. Abuse describes behaviors by people who use coercive control to limit the freedoms, thoughts, feelings, and actions of the people they say they love most.
Most domestic abuse is perpetrated by men who abuse their current or former female intimate partners. People with other gender identities and sexual orientations also commit abuse, in much smaller numbers. Current research indicates that:
Domestic abuse is not something that only happens in individual relationships. Abuse happens in a large number of intimate partnerships and families across the United States and the world. Abusive behavior by individuals reflects both their own mindset of entitlement, and also a historical culture and tradition that reinforce abuse and violence, particularly through male power and privilege.
Abuse happens in all kinds of intimate partnerships and families, including those who are wealthy and poor, those of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, those who are formally educated and those who are not. It happens in heterosexual and same-sex relationships, to people in urban and rural settings, to younger and older individuals, and to those who are spiritual or religious and those who are not.
People who abuse use many different tactics against their intimate partners. Whether their behavior includes verbal put downs, financial control, isolation from friends and family members, physical attacks, use of computers or telephones or other technology to monitor a victim’s activities, threats and intimidation, or other behaviors, it all creates pain and hurt and is all considered abuse.