Domestic Violence Awareness Month: What Exactly Is Domestic Violence

Cindy Best

If you don’t know baseball, I apologize in advance for this analogy. A long time ago when I coached baseball, I tried to teach the players to tag up when there was a fly ball to the outfield. As the ball would fly to the outfield, I started yelling “tag up!” I could not understand why this one kid kept taking off when the ball was hit and he never ever tried to tag up. I finally asked him simply why he never tagged up. He simply asked: “what does tag up mean?” That’s been my experience with domestic violence. I often ask clients if there has been domestic violence. They answer no, he has never hit me.  I then ask more questions. Here are some acts of domestic violence: threatening to harm or kill you, forcing you to stay in a room and preventing you from leaving, throwing his (whatever, fill in the blank) at you, throwing his (whatever, fill in the blank) in your presence, but not at you. Throwing stuff also applies when he throws your belongings, even if he does not throw them at you. Punching walls, punching any other object. Pushing you. Slamming doors and breaking them. Driving erratically to scare you. Driving too fast to scare you. Pounding on a door trying to get in. Any action or words that makes you fear him and fear for the safety of you and or your children. Faking like he is going to hit you. Abusing a pet. Many batterers abuse pets. This is just a small sampling of behaviors that are domestic violence. There are many other controlling and coercive behaviors that are domestic violence. You are not alone. It is not your fault. You can get help. You don’t have to live like this.

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