Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence (also known as partner abuse, battering, woman abuse, intimate partner violence, dating violence, etc.) can be defined as a pattern of intentional violent or controlling behavior by a person who is currently, or was previously, in an intimate relationship with the victim.

Violent behaviors and methods of coercion may include physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse, sexual assault, psychological abuse, progressive social isolation, humiliation, intimidation, fear, deprivation, or economic coercion. Battering occurs across all racial, ethnic, religious, age, and socio-economic lines, and occurs in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships.

Abuse Checklist

Does the person you love do any these things?

  • Accuses you of having affairs
  • Blames his or her behavior on alcohol, drugs, or a history of abuse
  • Forces / coerces you to have sex or hurts you during sex
  • Forces or coerces you to use drugs or alcohol
  • If you answered yes to any of these, you may be in an abusive relationship.
  • Makes you feel like you're walking on eggshells and changing your behavior to deal with his or her moods
  • Ridicules or humiliates you
  • Seems like two different people
  • Slaps, pulls, shoves, hits, kicks, burns, punches, chokes, or restrains you
  • Threatens to have your kids taken away from you and/or abuses your kids
  • Threatens you, screams at you, throws things, opens your mail, reads your journal, breaks or steals your things
  • Tries to control where you go and what you do
  • Uses your race, age, sexual orientation or identity, disability, immigration status, class, body size or appearance, religion, HIV status, etc. against you
  • Wants you to need him or her for money or expects you to support him or her
  • Withholds medications or puts you in situations that jeopardizes your health
  • Withholds sex as a way to humiliate or punish you
  • You don't see family or friends to avoid his or her jealousy or anger

If you answered yes to any of these, you may be in an abusive relationship.

Additional Information

For help or information call:

  • Elder Abuse Hotline: 800-922-2275
  • Needham Health Department: 781-455-7500 Ext 511
  • Needham Police Department: 781-455-7570
  • REACH (24 hr hotline): 800-899-4000
  • Riverside Mental Health Services: 800-529-5077