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What does domestic violence mean?

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 59% of women in Alaska experience sexual violence, and 3 out of 4 American Indian and Native Alaskan women experience physical assault in their lifetime.

The word violence denotes bruises, swelling, split lips and broken arms, but the term domestic violence encompasses a range of issues. Most statistics reported are those concerning violence, but the state of Alaska adds more to their laws, such as economic abuse, threats and isolation.

Domestic violence definition

The NCADV defines domestic violence as intimidation, physical and sexual assault, battery and other abusive behavior to control an intimate partner. It can result in physical and psychological trauma and sometimes death.

Types of abuse

The common types of abuse include:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Sexual
  • Psychological

Another form, economic abuse, is becoming more well known. The abuser controls the money by withholding access. In addition, the partner may keep the victim from holding a job. Abusers prevent the victim from getting money by various means, including:

  • Sabotaging a victim’s employment
  • Preventing the victim from using the bank account
  • Using checkbook, debit and credit cards without the victim’s knowledge
  • Applying for loans or credit cards without the victim knowing
  • Withholding clothes, shelter, food and medications
  • Wanting exact amount of money used for purchasing items
  • Not paying child support or alimony

Emotional, psychological and economic abuse may be the most difficult to prove but are as prevalent and dangerous. If you recognize the signs, it is imperative to find help for you or a loved one, so the abuse does not continue.