The number of women and men who have experienced domestic violence in the state of New Hampshire is alarming.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another person. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone.

It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both in both heterosexual and LGBT+ relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together or dating. Domestic violence can also have a substantial impact on a victim’s children, family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses and the community at large.

Why People Abuse

Intimate partner abuse is all about power and control. A perpetrator may believe they have the right to control their partner. They may believe in an unequal relationship or believe they know what is best. Abuse can be a learned behavior while growing up. A perpetrator may have experienced it in the home, from friends or in popular culture. No matter the case, abuse is never ok and can never be justified.

Why Victims of Domestic Violence Stay

For those that have never experienced abuse it can be difficult to understand why a person chooses to stay in an unhealthy and/or violent relationship. There are many reasons that both men and women may not choose to leave these relationships immediately.

Statistics show that the most dangerous time for a survivor is the the moment they decide to leave an abusive relationship. On average three women are murdered every day by a current or former male partner in the U.S.

On average, a survivor may attempt to leave seven times before leaving an abusive relationship for good.  

Common Barriers  Keeping Victims from Leaving:

• Fear of more violence/death
• Fear of losing custody of their children
• Cultural religious values
• The hope that the batterer can change
• The batterer threatens suicide or other self destructive behavior
• Lack of financial independence

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