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Louisa County Sheriff's Office

Domestic Violence

 

Domestic violence is a serious issue in Louisa County. There are various services available to help victims, abusers and families touched by domestic abuse and violence.   Here are some frequently asked questions dealing with Domestic Violence, also known as or called Family Abuse.

What exactly is domestic violence?

Also known as "family abuse," it is any act committed against a family or household member involving violence, force, or threats that results in bodily injury, or the fear of bodily injury.

More commonly, it is known as a pattern of abusive behaviors used by someone in an intimate, dating, or familial relationship, to dominate over, intimidate and control another person.

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What types of relationships are covered under domestic violence?

  • Current or former spouse, even if they do not live together.
  • Parent or stepparent
  • Children or stepchildren
  • Brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister
  • Grandparent or grandchildren, even if they do not live together
  • Any in-laws (father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother) who reside in the same house
  • Any individuals who have a child in common, even if they have never been married or lived together
  • Any individuals who have lived together within the last 12 months (even if not currently living together) and any of their children who have lived in the same house with either individual
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What is abusive or coercive behavior?

Abusive conduct or behavior used to control or dominate a victim. Some tactics include:

  • Physical and sexual violence against you or your children
  • Direct and implied threats of violence
  • Emotional and psychological intimidation
  • Verbal abuse
  • Isolation from family, friends or the outside world
  • Threats to harm, family, friends, pets, property or anything of importance to the victim
  • Threat or use of weapons
  • Destruction of property
  • Spiritual abuse
  • Stalking
  • Economic/financial control
  • Harm to family, pets or other important people in the victim’s life
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What are some characteristics of a victim?

Victims may generally:

  • Feel guilty or responsible for being battered and accept the violence
  • Minimize the seriousness of injuries, to self and others
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Have severe stress reactions
  • Have a history of abuse (grew up in violent home or were victims in a previous abusive relationship)
  • Feel powerless and isolated
  • Are emotionally and economically dependent on the batterer
  • Fear they might be insane
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How to know if I am a victim of domestic violence?

Common indicators include:

Physical abuse  

  • Pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, or kicking
  • Holding, tying down, restraining your movement, or preventing you from leaving
  • Inflicting bruises, welts, lacerations, punctures, fractures, burns, or scratches
  • Assaulting or threatening you with a weapon
  • Injuring your pets

Sexual abuse
  • Forcing you to have sex or perform sexual acts against your will
  • Attempting sexual activity with you when you are not fully conscious or are afraid to say no
  • Physically hurting you during sex
  • Coercing you to have sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases
  • Calling you sexually degrading names
  • Accusing you of having sex with other men or flirting with them to get attention

Emotional or psychological abuse
  • Threatening to hurt you in any way
  • Physical or social isolation (not allowing you to go out alone, have friends, or choose your own friends)
  • Extreme jealousy or possessiveness ("I can’t control my anger, when I think of you with another man")
  • Threats of suicide ("I’ll kill myself if you ever talk to another man")
  • Intimidation or humiliation (Displaying weapons or making you look stupid in front of others)
  • Constantly insulting or criticizing you or calling you names ("You’re so stupid," "You can’t do anything right")
  • False accusations, blaming you for everything ("You are the reason we have no money")
  • Ignoring or ridiculing your needs or wants
  • Lying or breaking promises, destroying your trust
  • Driving fast or recklessly just to scare you and laughing at your fear
  • Leaving you in a dangerous place or threatening to leave you in a dangerous place
  • Refusing to help you when you’re sick or injured
  • Threatening to kill or injure your pets
  • Using your children as leverage or threatening to hurt them

Back to Questions

How can I tell if someone I know is a victim in an abusive relationship?

  • Physical bruises or other marks of violence and possible attempts to cover them up
  • Withdrawal from usual activities
  • Sudden or increased isolation
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Sudden changes in mood or personality, cries easily or overreacts to minor incidents

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What are some characteristics of a batterer?

  • Extremely jealous
  • Low self-esteem
  • Blames others for their actions, does not accept responsibility
  • Believes in violence as a method to solve problems
  • Unable to deal with stress, lack of impulse control 
  • Denial, minimizes seriousness of violence
  • Socially isolated, does not have many friends
  • History of abuse, grew up in violent home or involved in prior abusive relationships
  • Substance abuser

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Why do abusers batter?

Typically, abusers engage in violence or threats of violence to dominate and control the victim.


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What are some early warning signs that your partner may be an abuser?

Your partner:

  • Has hit before
  • Has a history of violent relationships
  • Demands strict control and blames others for mishaps
  • Has severe mood swings
  • Insists that you stay home, not work, not have friends or not socialize
  • Isolates you from your friends and family
  • Physically expresses anger and is unable to express themselves clearly
  • Is extremely jealous of your successes or anyone you talk to

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 Who should I contact?


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