Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse.
Men are sometimes abused by partners, but domestic violence is most often directed toward women.
You might become depressed and anxious, or begin to doubt your ability to take care of yourself. If you're having trouble identifying what's happening, take a step back and look at larger patterns in your relationship. In an abusive relationship, the person who routinely uses these behaviors is the abuser. Still, the only way to break the cycle of domestic violence is to take action.
Start by telling someone about the abuse, whether it's a friend, loved one, health care provider or other close contact.
Your partner apologizes and says the hurtful behavior won't happen again — but you fear it will.
At times you wonder whether you're imagining the abuse, yet the emotional or physical pain you feel is real.
An abuser uses intimidating, hurtful words and behaviors to control his or her partner.
It might not be easy to identify domestic violence at first.
The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the greater the physical and emotional toll.
Substance use disorders are complicated illnesses that present unique threats to women's health.
Medical research finds that women who consume alcohol, tobacco or other drugs may develop substance use disorders and/or substance-related health problems faster than men.
Children who grow up in abusive homes are more likely to be abused and have behavioral problems than are other children.
As adults, they're more likely to become abusers or think abuse is a normal part of relationships.