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(October 4, 2022, Salisbury, MD) October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Other names for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, dating abuse, and relationship abuse.

Nearly 20 people every minute are abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This adds up to more than 10 million people experiencing domestic violence each year. People of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, races, religions, and nationalities are affected by domestic violence. Because it is present in every community, awareness is vital.

Domestic violence has many forms. Understanding the different forms is crucial in recognizing when abuse is occurring. Domestic violence is often a combination of the following forms of abuse:

  • physical abuse
  • emotional and verbal abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • financial abuse
  • digital abuse
  • stalking

It is important to know signs of domestic violence. When we know what domestic violence looks like, we can take steps to help ourselves or others who are experiencing it. One or more of these behaviors could be a sign of domestic violence:

  • saying hurtful things, such as insulting or demeaning their partner, especially in front of other people
  • telling their partner that they can never do anything right
  • isolating their partner by preventing them from spending time with friends and family
  • intimidating their partner through threatening looks and actions (smashing objects, abusing pets, or displaying weapons)
  • threatening to take away children or pets
  • preventing their partner from making decisions
  • controlling household finances, including taking their partner’s money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses
  • pressuring their partner into sexual acts or into using drugs or alcohol
  • showing extreme jealousy

Everyone deserves life free from domestic abuse. Many organizations work tirelessly to provide support and services to survivors. Life Crisis Center is one such organization. For immediate assistance, call the 24 hour hotline at 410-749-4357. To contact Maryland’s Helpline, dial 211.

More information about domestic violence can be found on these websites:,, and

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