About Domestic Violence

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What is domestic violence?


Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to gain and maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. People of all cultures, religions, ages, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, and income levels can be victims – or perpetrators – of domestic violence. A person experiencing domestic violence may feel fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and pain. Their self-esteem and confidence can suffer, and the controlling behavior of their abuser can isolate them from seeking support.

Domestic violence is an epidemic in Alaska, where 1 of 2 women and 1 of 4 men experience domestic violence, sexual assault, or both during their lifetime.

Domestic violence can involve many different types of abusive behaviors. Understanding the different ways that abuse can appear in a relationship can help prepare you to better identify unhealthy behaviors and situations for yourself and others.

Domestic violence may include the following types of abuse.  This list contains some examples but is not a comprehensive list.  Please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline for more in-depth information.


  • Physical Abuse 
    • Physically causes harm by punching, slapping, kicking, biting, choking, or smothering you, your children, or your pets 
    • Prevents you from leaving the house, sleeping, eating, contacting law enforcement, or seeking medical attention 
    • Forces you to use alcohol or drugs 
  • Emotional and Verbal Abuse 
    • Calls you names, insults you, humiliates you, or constantly criticizes you 
    • Attempts to control where you go, who you contact, or what you wear 
    • Isolates you from friends and family 
    • Threatens you, your children, your family, or your pets (with or without weapons) 
  • Sexual Abuse and/or Coercion
    • Forces or manipulates you into have sex or performing sexual acts  
    • Chokes, restrains, or hurts you during sex without your consent 
    • Implies that you owe them something sexually in exchange for previous actions, gifts, or consent 
  • Reproductive Coercion
    • Refusing to use a condom or other types of birth control.
    • Lying about methods of birth control (i.e. having a vasectomy or being on the pill).
    • Intentionally becoming pregnant against your wishes.
  • Financial Abuse 
    • Prevents you from viewing or accessing bank accounts 
    • Steals money from you, your family, or your friends 
    • Provides you with an allowance and strictly controls what you spend it on, or refuses to provide money for necessary expenses like food or medical care 
  • Digital Abuse 
    • Sending, requesting, or pressuring you to send unwanted explicit photos or videos, sexts, or otherwise compromising messages. 
    • Insists on being given your account passwords 
    • Constantly texts or calls you, and gets angry when you do not reply quickly enough to messages 
  • Stalking 
    • Sends you unwanted texts, calls, messages, or gifts 
    • Shows up unannounced and uninvited to your home or workplace 
    • Tracks your activities through social media or other technology

About Domestic Violence

Warning Signs

Safety Planning

How to Help Someone

Prevention and Outreach

Additional Resources