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According to California Penal Code 13700(b), domestic violence means abuse committed against an adult or a fully emancipated minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. 

The act of domestic violence is about power and control. The abuser wants to dominate the victim/survivor and wants all the power in the relationship-and uses violence in order to establish and maintain authority and power. Perpetrators of domestic violence are usually not sick or deranged, but have learned abusive, manipulative techniques and have behaviors that allow them to dominate and control others and obtain the responses they desire.

An abuser will often restrict a victim's outlets, forbidding the victim to maintain outside contact, employment, friends, and family ties. This has an isolating effect, leaving victims with no support systems, and thus creating dependency on their predators. Abusers also limit a survivor's options by not allowing access to checking accounts, credit cards or other sources of money or financial independence.


Perpetrators of domestic violence may constantly criticize, belittle and humiliate their partners. Causing the victims to feel worthless, ugly, stupid, and crazy does not allow for a survivor's healthy self-perception to victims feeling they deserve the abuse, affecting their ability to see themselves as worthy of better treatment.

Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children.Teenagers often leave their homes because of domestic violence. The absence of a safe place to go may jeopardize the safety and very life of someone experiencing this. The dynamics of it and the impact of abuse may result in a pattern of homelessness that can potentially last for years. An inadequate supply of affordable housing and the lack of living wage jobs can perpetuate homelessness far too long. Those who are homeless due to domestic violence--singles, families, and youth-- are an important part of this plan.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse and controlling behavior through which the abuser seeks power over their victim. Domestic violence occurs across the nation regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geographic demographics. Domestic violence is often under-reported as varying modalities/community. Globally, it is a worldwide epidemic.

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