What is sexual violence?
Sexual contact committed by force or without a person’s consent caused solely by a perpetrator’s decision to commit the offense. It can include being touched, forced to touch someone else, or to watch them touch themselves. It is a crime that can affect the whole family, including the victim’s spouse, partner, parents, and other close relatives or friends.
Who commits domestic or sexual violence?
Both strangers and people known and trusted by the victim, including acquaintances, a current or former spouse, co-parent, dating partner, parent, sibling, or present or former household member, can commit these forms of abuse.
What are the signs of domestic or sexual violence?
- Financial: Controlling all income and expenses, preventing a partner from working, forcing a partner to turn over their paychecks to the abuser, restricting access to financial accounts, limiting access to cash or credit cards, or ruining a partner’s credit.
- Physical: Hitting, slapping, pushing, biting, punching, kicking, restraining, choking, smothering, or strangulation. Strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence: unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes.
- Psychological: Intimidating a person with threatening looks and behavior, stalking, monitoring by using technology, using spyware and location tracking devices, monitoring technology, posting false information about someone on social media, isolating a person from friends and family, or attacking self-esteem by blaming, manipulating, criticizing, and humiliating.
- Sexual: Manipulating or forcing a person to do something sexual or any coerced, non-consensual, or unwanted sexual behavior.
- Verbal: Cursing or swearing, yelling, name-calling, criticizing thoughts or feelings, and put-downs.