~ What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive tactics carried out by an abuser against a family or household member (the victim) with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim. These tactics can be physical, psychological, sexual, economic, and emotional.

Back to Top

~ What is the difference between fighting and battering?

Arguments, disagreements and differences of opinion are parts of normal relationships. An abusive relationship is distinguished by an ongoing pattern of control and coercion. The "fight" is not between people of equal power, but occurs within a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power and the use of abusive control tactics by one party.

Back to Top

~ How can I tell if I may be in an abusive relationship?

Does your partner:

  • Hit, punch, slap, choke or shove you?
  • Destroy personal property?
  • Keep you from seeing your family or friends?
  • Control all the finances and/or take your money?
  • Threaten to harm you or your children?
  • Humiliate or embarrass you in front of others?
  • Show extreme jealousy or make false accusations?
  • Force you to have sex against your will?

These are all examples of abusive behavior. If any of these things are happening to you, call our hotline immediately: 1-888-252-9360
or 1-585-658-3940.

Back to Top

~ Why does someone stay in an abusive relationships?

There are many reasons a person may not feel ready or able to leave an abusive relationship. Some of these may be:

  • Fear of physical danger to self or children
  • Fear of reduced standard of living - loss of home, possessions
  • Fear of losing income or job
  • Fear of losing partner, losing the relationship
  • Fear that the abuser will follow through on suicide threats
  • Fear of losing children by parental kidnapping or as the result of a legal custody decision
  • Fear of the unknown/failure
  • Fear of being pressured to maintain the relationship based on religious and/or cultural beliefs

We should also ask why an abuser would stay in a relationship with someone they don't respect or value enough to keep from harm.

Back to Top

~ Why does domestic violence happen?

Domestic violence is not caused by stress, mental illness, alcohol, or drugs. The only true cause of domestic violence is the abuser's choice to act violently.

Back to Top

~ Does violence occur in same-sex relationships?

Yes, violence does occur is same-sex relationships. Statistics show that same-sex violence is as common as heterosexual relationship violence. The elements of abusive relationships are similar for hater- and homosexual couples.

Back to Top

~ I'm worried about someone I know - what can I do?

It can be frustrating if you know someone is being abused and they have not ended the relationship. You can provide support and information, let them know that the abuse is not their fault and that no one deserves to be abused. Let them know that help is available. Do not put yourself at risk by trying to intervene directly.

Back to Top

~ Does domestic violence have an effect on children?

Often children witnessing abuse blame themselves for problems occurring in their family. Many children are seriously injured or killed each year in an attempt to intervene to protect a parent. Growing up in an abusive environment, a child learn that violence is an effective tool and an acceptable way to interact with others.

Back to Top

~ Are heterosexual men ever the victims of domestic abuse?

As our understanding of domestic violence increases, we must accept that men can be and are abused by their wives and girlfriends. To date, there are no reliable statistics on men who are abused by their female partners.

Back to Top

~ What are the police required to do?

When police arrive at the scene of a domestic incident, they are mandated to complete a police report and to distribute a victim's rights notice, even if no arrest is made. Under NYS law, an officer must make an arrest when s/he has "probable cause" to believe certain offenses that rise to the level of a felony or misdemeanor have occurred. Arrests provide immediate safety for the victim and others household members, and officers can direct victims to other resources.

Back to Top


© Chances & Changes, Inc.

Home Board of Directors Links Contact Us Are You A Victim? Safety Planning Services FAQ's Opportunities News/Events Fundraising


Chances & Changes Inc. Domestic Violence Program 24 Hour Hotline: 1-585-658-2660 OR 1-888-252-9360