Why people are abusive

People become abusive for many reasons. They may have grown up with abuse in their own family, where they learned that asserting power and control is the way to get what you want in an intimate relationship. They may have experienced institutional violence, including racism, state sponsored violence, poverty and mass incarceration. They may believe that their role in the relationship or family requires them to always “be in charge.” they may have learned messages about how men and women should act from their communities and the media that reinforced the use of power and control in relationships.

When people are abusive, they often say that their partner or spouse caused the abuse. The abused person is NEVER responsible for the abuse.

DVHopeline advocates can offer information about the dynamics of abusive relationships.

“Freedom from domestic violence is possible for everyone.”

“Survivors of domestic violence display a stunning capacity for survival and perseverance.”

“Asking for help is probably one of the hardest things a person can do, but it’s one of the best things a person can do.”

“Developing support systems and mobilizing resources helps survivors of domestic violence to be resilient and ultimately to recover from domestic violence.”

“Love and care from trusted adults, and a safe and predictable environment help children and young people heal from domestic violence.”

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