Many victims are never physically or sexually assaulted but are controlled and terrorized by their partners’ use of non-physical tactics such as: verbal, emotional/psychological abuse; coercion and threats; isolation; minimizing, denying, blaming; using children; intimidation; and economic abuse. Victims can be from any socio-economic group, education level, gender or ethnicity. And while victims can be from any walk of life, research shows that racial and ethnic minority women and men continue to bear a relatively heavier burden of sexual violence, stalking, and domestic violence . Learn more from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s handout, Male Victims of Violence. As with victims, abusers can come from any walk of life – rich, poor, young, or old, and any gender, background or ethnicity. But there are some common traits shared by many abusers.They may be charming, jealous, controlling, and manipulative and they may blame others for their problems.Often, victims’ fears are based on direct threats made by the abuser.And victims might be afraid to leave because abuse can get much worse after a victim leaves, when the abuser realizes they are losing control. Many domestic homicides take place during or after a victim has left the relationship. The NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline, 1-800-942-6906, is a resource for victims, family members, friends and others.It is not caused by drugs or alcohol (although these things can make abuse worse) or by anything the victim did to “provoke” the abuser. A bad economy or personal financial struggles will not cause someone to be abusive. But there may be situations in which an officer arriving on the scene could cause more problems for the victim.Abuse is not caused by a bad day, or “buttons that got pushed.” It’s not a “two-way street” or a “lover’s quarrel” and it doesn’t “take two to tango.” Abuse is always a choice. However, in homes where one partner is already abusive, strained finances and unemployment can make domestic violence worse. If possible, find out what the victim would prefer.
They may not realize they’re being abused if the abuse isn’t physical (and even if it is).The victim of a family offense can seek help in Family Court in addition to, or instead of, the case being prosecuted in criminal court. An Order of Protection (OP) is also commonly (but incorrectly) called a Restraining Order.It is an order of the Court, and being served an OP is often enough to persuade the abuser to stop their abusive behavior. Believe what they tell you, without blame or judgment.They may be reluctant to create upheaval in their children’s lives.