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Information / Domestic Violence / What is domestic violence?

Domestic Violence

What is domestic violence?

It is a system of behaviors used by one person to control another's actions and feelings. An abuser uses physical and sexual abuse, or the fear of it, to get and maintain control over his partner. Over time, the violence usually becomes more dangerous, and the attacks more frequent. The Power and Control Wheel below shows the many of the different tactics abusers use to exert their power. The Equality Wheel shows the same areas and how they are handled in a non-abusive relationship.

Power and Control vs Equality Wheels
Enlarge | Download PDF (3 MB)

© Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
Duluth, MN |

Abusive behaviors are:

looming over the person, getting in their face, blocking a doorway, grabbing someone, following the person around, slapping, pulling hair, pushing, punching, beating, kicking, strangling, threatening with harm, using weapons, throwing things, breaking things, driving recklessly
rape, unwanted sexual touch, vulgar comments, getting a person pregnant against her will, pressuring a person to have sex, spreading sexual rumors, calling a person sexual names
Emotional or mental
mind games, manipulation, always being "right", making accusations, controlling what a person does and who she sees and talks to, telling her how to dress, making all the decisions, blaming the other person for your faults
name calling, criticizing, publicly humiliating, put downs, yelling, swearing, sarcasm, silent treatment, threatening with harm

Domestic Violence Deaths in Maine

  • Over 50% of Maine's murders are domestic abuse related. (Maine Dept. of Public Safety)
  • Maine is number six in the nation for our rate of domestic violence murders.
  • In the 33 domestic violence related homicides committed in Maine between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2004, nearly 70% of the victims (adult and children) were female, and 82% of the perpetrators or alleged perpetrators were male.

If your abuser is serving time at Two Bridges Jail

You may wish to be notified prior to your abuser's release date if your abuser is serving a sentence at Two Bridges Jail. To facilitate this process, you can fill out this form located on their website.