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Definitions

Are you the victim of domestic or sexual violence:

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, domestic and sexual violence may include:

  • Physical abuse: slapping, kicking, hitting, shoving or other physical force
  • Sexual abuse: rape, sexual assault, forced prostitution or interfering with birth control
  • Emotional abuse: shouting, name-calling, humiliation, constant criticism or harming the victim’s relationship with her/his children
  • Psychological abuse: threats to harm the victim’s family, friends, children, co-workers or pets; isolation, mind games, destruction of victim’s property or stalking
  • Economic abuse: controlling the victim’s money, withholding money for basic needs, interfering with the victim’s school or job or damaging the victim’s credit

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person in order to maintain power and control in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence occurs when one intimate partner uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation and emotional, sexual or economic abuse to control and change the behavior of the other partner.

If someone in your life, is using any of the actions listed below, your line of safety and respect is being crossed:

  • using jealousy to justify actions
  • controlling what you do, who you see and talk to, what you read, where you go; limiting your outside involvement
  • Using looks and/or actions to scare you
  • controlling the family income; keeping you from working; making you ask for money; or taking your money
  • destroying property; abusing pets; displaying weapons
  • slapping, hitting, pushing, holding you down, choking, or pulling your hair
  • forcing you to have sex or refusing to practice safe sex
  • putting you down
  • making and/or carrying out threats
  • using children/grandchildren to control you
  • making light of the abuse; saying the abuse didn’t happen; blaming the abuse on you
  • making you feel guilty

Abusers often use some of the following or similar statements. These words are used as a way to control you.

  • No one loves you as much as I do.
  • You don’t need family.
  • I want to protect you.
  • You know I love you, that is why I get so angry.
  • I understand you, but other people will think you’re a crazy.
  • I will take care of you. You can’t make it out there without me.
  • Who else would want you but me?
  • I love you so much, but I will kill you before I’ll let you leave.

Learn more here.

It is important to note that many of these same behaviors appear in dating violence. Dating violence is controlling, abusive and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. It can happen in straight or gay relationships. It can include verbal, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, or any combination of these.

What is Sexual Violence?

Sex without consent is sexual assault, whether you know the offender or not. Sexual violence occurs when you are forced, threatened or manipulated into sexual contact against your will. People of all genders can be a victim of sexual violence – not just women. It is a crime of violence and power; not caused by sexual desire. Remember that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Nothing – not even previous consensual sex, entitles anyone to force another person to perform sexual acts. Learn more here.


Domestic and Sexual Violence in the Workplace

Students aren’t the only group of individuals who are negatively affected by domestic and sexual violence on WVU’s campus. Domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence and stalking can also cause problems for WVU employees when it happens in the workplace.

The US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women has funded Workplaces Respond, a project that offers online information for the benefit of those interested in providing effective workplace responses to victims of domestic, sexual or dating violence and stalking.

Did you know?

Violence impacts safety, productivity and costs of doing business.

Sexual violence is one of the most underreported crimes in our society. Recent studies suggest that fewer than 1 in 6 women report sexual violence to the police.

The US Department of Justice estimates that 8% of rapes occur while the victim is working.

In 8 out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator.

According to the National Institute of Justice, rape costs our country more than any other crime, at $127B. This is followed by assault ($93B), murder ($71B) and drunk driving ($61B.)

Try this quiz to assess your own knowledge about domestic and sexual violence in the workplace.

Workplaces Respond provides a number of resources, including a Workplace Toolkit can help raise awareness, address employment issues and connect people in your workplace to the assistance they may need.