Domestic Violence


The National Domestic Violence Hotline identifies domestic violence as a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. These are behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. Abuse includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of abuse can be going on at any one time.

Batterers use a variety of tools and behaviors to maintain power and control over their partners. Click here for a link to the physical and sexual violence Power and Control Wheel developed by the Duluth Model Power and Control Wheels from Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs to see how these behaviors intersect to continue the cycle of abuse. Types of abuse include, but are not limited to (National Domestic Violence Hotline):

Physical Abuse

  • Pulling your hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking you
  • Damaging your property when they’re angry (throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors, etc.)
  • Using weapons to threaten to hurt you, or actually hurting you with weapons
  • Trapping you in your home or keeps you from leaving
  • Preventing you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
  • Harming your children
  • Abandoning you in unfamiliar places
  • Driving recklessly or dangerously when you are in the car with them
  • Forcing you to use drugs or alcohol (especially if you’ve had a substance abuse problem in the past)

Emotional Abuse

  • Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
  • Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
  • Trying to isolate you from family or friends
  • Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Demanding to know where you are every minute
  • Punishing you by withholding affection
  • Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Humiliating you in any way
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
  • Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
  • Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little makeup you wear, etc.
  • Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them 

Financial Abuse

  • Giving an allowance and closely watching how you spend it or demanding receipts for purchases
  • Placing your paycheck in their bank account and denying you access to it
  • Preventing you from viewing or having access to bank accounts
  • Forbidding you to work or limiting the hours that you can work
  • Maxing out credit cards in your name without permission or not paying the bills on credit cards, which could ruin your credit score
  • Stealing money from you or your family and friends
  • Using funds from children’s savings accounts without your permission
  • Living in your home but refusing to work or contribute to the household
  • Making you give them your tax returns or confiscating joint tax returns
  • Refusing to give you money to pay for necessities/shared expenses like food, clothing, transportation, or medical care and medicine

Sexual Abuse and Coercion

  • Forcing you to dress in a sexual way
  • Insulting you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
  • Forcing or manipulating you into to having sex or performing sexual acts
  • Holding you down during sex
  • Demanding sex when you’re sick, tired or after hurting you
  • Hurting you with weapons or objects during sex
  • Involving other people in sexual activities with you against your will
  • Ignoring your feelings regarding sex
  • Forcing you to watch pornography
  • Purposefully trying to pass on a sexually transmitted disease to you

Scope of Domestic Violence

  • In 2015, SCCADVASA’s domestic violence member organizations across the state provided shelter to  2,769 individuals. They also provided non-shelter services-including counseling, court advocacy, and support services- to  19,414 individuals, and answered over 18,740 hotline calls.
  • The Attorney General’s office has noted that more than 36,000 victims report a domestic violence incident to law enforcement statewide annually. This is staggering considering that many victims never call or make a report to law enforcement.
  • South Carolina ranks first in the nation for women killed by men according to the Violence Policy Center. 96% of female victims were murdered by someone they knew. Of the homicide victims who knew their offenders, 62% (22 victims) were murdered by a husband, common-law husband, ex-husband, or boyfriend.

National Statistics

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries to women age fifteen to forty-four, more common than auto accidents, mugging, and cancer combined. (U.S. Surgeon General)
  • At least 85% of domestic violence victims are women. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, Reported in Feb. 2009.
  • 1 in 4 women will experience DV during their lifetime. (Tjaden & Thoennes, National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Extent, Nature and Conse-quences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, 2000).
  • Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students reports being abused by a boyfriend. (Silverman, JG, et al., Amer. Medical Assoc. Journal, 2001)
  • As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy. (Gazamarian, JA, et al., Violence and Reproductive Health, Maternal & Child Health Journal, 2000)
  • On average, three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. (Bureau of Justice Dept. Statistics, 2005)
  • 65% of DV homicide victims had separated from their abusers prior to their deaths. (Bureau of Justice Dept. Statistics, 2005)

More information regarding domestic violence can be found here: Domestic Violence

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