What is Domestic Violence?

If you have landed upon this site, then you perhaps have an idea of what domestic violence means and what it is, why it happens, who it affects, and even perhaps how to identify and classify its iterations. Our goal at Shine the Light Foundation is to help you expand your knowledge of domestic violence even further, allowing for a meaningful conversation to support and leverage efforts in raising awareness.

We recognize that there are countless variations on domestic violence and each story is unique. With this in mind and with the goal of inclusive conversation, we have identified three overarching categories:

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Physical

Endangerment without contact, contact, threats of physical harm, abandonment, coercion.

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Psychological

Name calling, jealousy and possessiveness, humiliation and degradation, financial depravity and control, isolation and trapping...

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Sexual

Forcing you to dress in a sexual way, manipulating or demanding that you have sex or engage in sexual acts...


Who is Affected by Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence affects individuals regardless of age, race, identity or culture. While statistics may prove some things over others, our goal is never to meet or push any predetermined or hidden agendas. Here at Shine the Light Foundation, we offer objective information that is aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of issues.


Why Does Domestic Violence Happen?

For every case of domestic violence, there can be a multitude of reasons for the actions. At any point during or after the relationship, a victim may want to know Why did this happen to me? Why did he do those things to me? Here at Shine the Light Foundation, we do our best to offer specific and relevant information but never to provide definitive answers. That may not sound altogether helpful, however please keep in mind that our main goal for domestic violence awareness is to strengthen the dialogue, not to script it.

Recognizing that each case is unique, we have identified two largely overarching and interconnected reasons from which cases of domestic violence stem:

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Power and Control

Specific power dynamic in which one partner is dominant and the other submissive, or controlled (often manipulated).

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Learned Behavior

Repeated behavior (whether carried out or observed) conditions a habit, or way of being.


How Can You Identify Domestic Violence?

It can be extremely difficult to recognize when abuse is happening - whether you are being abused or you are the abuser. With the help of colleagues in the field we provide information that may help you or someone you love.


Glossary of Terminology

Throughout this site, and perhaps in your own research, you may have come across certain terms used to describe methods or situations of, or conditions that result from, domestic violence.We have compiled an extensive list of these terms that you may find helpful. 

Where Can I Find Help?

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, or if you think you may be harming your partner, there are resources available in your community and nationally that can provide support and assistance.                                                              


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