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Domestic Violence is a pattern of Coercive tactics that can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic, and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control.
Domestic Violence occurs in all kinds of intimate relationships, including married couples, people who are dating, couples who live together, people with children in common, same-sex partners, people who were formerly in a relationship with the person abusing them, and teen dating relationships.
Abusive behaviors are not symptoms that someone is angry or out of control. An abuser makes a choice to exert power and control over his or her partner. Abusive behaviors include physical, emotional, sexual, social, and financial abuse.
Physical abuse often begins with less violent assaults such as pushing. As the abuse continues, however, it becomes increasingly violent. Abusers often target areas of the body that are usually covered with clothing because the injuries are less likely to be visible to others. Acts of physical abuse include:
Emotional abuse is a tool used by those who want to make their partners feel scared, crazy, worthless, or responsible for the abuse. The abuser's goal is control over the victim. Emotional abuse may include:
Sexual abuse is one of the least discussed, but most common, forms of domestic violence. Sexual abuse includes:
Social abuse is used to isolate the victim from others in the community. The fewer people the victim is connected with, the more control the abuser has over the victim. Examples of social abuse include:
Abusers often attempt to establish financial control over victims. Victims who are financially dependent on abusers have fewer resources for escape. Financial abuse includes:
On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States and women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year. Many of these women are mothers who often go to great and courageous lengths to protect their children from abusive partners. In fact, research has shown that the non-abusing parent is often the strongest protective factor in the lives of children who are exposed to domestic violence. However, growing up in a violent home may be a terrifying and traumatic experience that can affect every aspect of a child's life, growth and development. In spite of this, we know that when properly identified and addressed, the effects of domestic violence on children can be mitigated.
These facts and statistics were taken from the following resources:
1. Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. 2006. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/intimate/ipv.cfm
2. CDC. Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence. 2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, February 8, 2008. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5705a1.htm
3. McDonald, Renee, Ernest N. Jouriles, Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, et al. 2006. Estimating the Number of American Children Living in Partner- Violent Families. Journal of Family Psychology 20(1): 137-142.
4. Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. 2006. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
5. Domestic Violence Counts 2010: A 24-hour census of domestic violence shelters and services across the United States. 2010. National Network to End Domestic Violence.
6. Behind Closed Doors: The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children. 2006. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Available at http://www.unicef.org.nz/advocacy/publications/UNICEF_Body_Shop_Behind_Closed_Doors.pdf
The law offers the protection of Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA) orders to victims of domestic violence, whether or not a victim has reported the abuse to the police. A FAPA order is free, and a victim does not need an attorney to get one, although an attorney is recommended if an abuser contests the order.
FAPA orders are available in every county in Oregon. Once issued, a FAPA order is effective for one year unless the court terminates or extends the order.
The court must hold a hearing, by telephone or in person, the day or the day after a victim files for a FAPA order.
A sheriff or another qualified person must serve the abuser with a copy of the order. After the abuser receives it he has 30 days to ask for a hearing, which must be held within 21 days of that request (5 days if a child is involved). The judge may change or cancel the order based on information received at the hearing. Changes in custody or visitation rights may be requested at any time while the order is in effect.
Police must enforce FAPA orders. An abuser who violates a FAPA order can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $300.
If a victim and an abuser later divorce, and the provisions of the divorce decree are different from the provisions of the FAPA order, the divorce decree will take precedence.It is important to remember that a FAPA order does not guarantee safety. If you are a victim of domestic violence contact an advocate to make a safety plan.
A victim of domestic violence is eligible to obtain a FAPA order if she meets the following criteria:
A FAPA order can:
An index of Oregon service providers and shelters can be found on the top right of this page. Call to connect with an advocate in your area who can help you explore a safety plan.