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Dr. Jennifer Caudle is a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Rowan University.

She frequently appears as a health expert on CNN, Fox 29 Philadelphia News and CBS 3 Philadelphia News. You can find her at

She wants people to understand the true impact that domestic violence has on families and communities and why it’s important for

What is Domestic Violence?

 Domestic violence is a form of abuse which is repetitive and intended to maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

These behaviors typically cause physical harm, arouse fear in the partner or control behavior (or all).

What are examples of Domestic Violence?

Abuse includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many different forms of abuse can occur at the same time. Domestic violence not only includes physical violence. Other types of abuse include:

  1. Psychological (threats, ridicule, deprivation, intimidation, stalking, isolation)
  2. Destructive (neglect of pets and damaging property)
  3. Financial (access to money, forms)
  4. Sexual (rape)
  5. Physical (hitting, burning, strangling)

Emotional Abuse: Withhold approval, Humiliates partner in private or public.

Intimidation: Criticizes, calls names, shouts at partner. Ridicules/threatens partner’s valued beliefs.

Coercion and Threats: Insists partner dress the way he/she wants. Uses children’s well-being, isolation from them.

Isolation: Controls what partner does, sees, or where he/she goes.

Minimizing, Denying and Blaming:  Is jealous about imagined affairs.

Economic Abuse: Withholds resources – money, information, papers.

Physical Violence: Punches, shoves, slaps, bites, kicks, chokes, hits, or throws objects at partner.

Who is affected?

Domestic violence can happen to ANYONE!

 People of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be affected. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating and domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

 How common is domestic violence?

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.

Nearly 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by a partner and report that the violence impacted them in some way.

Intimate partner violence (domestic violence) resulted in 1,336 deaths in 2010 -accounting for 10% of all homicides.

82% percent of these deaths were females and 18% were males.

Are there other health effects of Domestic Violence?

YES! Domestic Violence often affects the WHOLE person. Abused patients are at greater risk for:

Physical trauma: bruises, broken bones, etc.

  • Back and limb problems
  • Sleep Disturbances, Appetite Changes
  • Fainting and dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal, gynecologic, heart, blood pressure, lung and breathing problems
  • Headaches, Anxiety, Depression
  • Substance Abuse
  • Preterm birth, low birth weight

How can you help someone you suspect is involved in a Domestic Violence situation?

 Listen non-judgmentally

“Are you ever afraid of your partner?”

“Do you feel safe at home?”

“Has partner ever hit, hurt, threatened you, forced you to have sex, or purposefully humiliated you?

Acknowledge the person’s situation:

“They don’t deserve this; not their fault”

  • Encourage discussion
  • Empower the person
  • Help them get help (see next question)

 Where Can You Go for Help?

 Where someone goes for help depends on the nature of the situation and the person. Also, many resources may be utilized at once:

Your health care provider/hospital

Police/law enforcement

State/county Domestic Violence resources/shelters/counseling

Online/Hotline resources and information:

 National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233 

Futures Without Violence (Family Violence Prevent Fund)  

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 

National Network to End Domestic Violence 

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence


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