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Domestic violence (DV) is defined as a pattern of behavior in which one person uses behavior that is controlling or assaultive towards another.

Examples of DV include, but are not limited to: physical abuse, psychological abuse and/or sexual abuse. This type of violence can occur in marriages, family or romantic relationships. Same sex relationships can also experience DV.

With most instances of DV, there is typically a period of calm and affection, following an episode of abuse where the abuser may apologize or try to make amends. Whether abuse happens frequently or once in a while – it is still considered abuse.

If this sounds like something you or a loved one have or are currently experiencing, now is the time to get help. Dr. Nisha is highly experienced and trained in helping counsel individuals experiencing DV whether in or outside the home.

Negative effects of Domestic Violence

Physical effects

  • Bruises, sprains, broken bones
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Involuntary shaking
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Menstrual cycle or fertility issues

Mental effects

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Inability to trust
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Drug and alcohol abuse

Examples of abuse include:

  • Name-calling or insults
  • Isolating a partner from their family and friends
  • Withholding money
  • Stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
  • Physical harm in the form of punching, kicking, slapping, biting, pushing and more
  • Damage to property
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Intimidation
  • Harming or threatening to harm children or pets

Children and Domestic Violence

For children who witness domestic violence, the experience can be just as traumatic as experiencing the abuse personally. It’s very common for children to also be abused by the perpetrator. Children in these situations are more likely to develop behavioral and emotional issues, regardless if they were directly abused or not.

using controlling or assaultive behavior towards their significant other

Domestic Violence Statistics

More than one million people report a violent assault by a partner every year in the U.S.
In the U.S., approximately 98% of batterers are male.
Males may also be survivors of domestic violence.
One out of four women will be abused by a current/former partner at one point in their lives.

Survivors of domestic violence may face ongoing challenges related to a history of physical, mental and emotional abuse. It can take time for a survivor to adjust to being in non-threatening environments. This is particularly true if the perpetrator was extremely violent or if the abuse continued for a significant amount of time.

How a Psychologist can Help

Survivors of domestic violence may experience severe feelings of shame and embarrassment. If you have been isolated from your loved ones, it may be difficult to know where to turn. Please know that you are not alone. You can reach out to our office to learn more about how counseling can help. We provide a warm, non-judgmental and supportive approach each step of the way. It is not your fault that you were abused. You didn’t do anything wrong or do anything to deserve it.

Feelings associated with domestic violence may be overwhelming. While the thought of addressing this pain may be intimidating, the counseling process can help survivors to develop their inner strength and reduce their feelings of fear. It’s important to note that healing takes time and that everyone’s journey looks different.