Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is abuse by a caregiver, a
parent, a spouse or an intimate partner. It can take many forms. Here are some
types of abuse: Physical abuse is the use of physical force. Sexual abuse means
any forced sexual activity. Emotional abuse includes threats, constant criticism
and put-downs. Controlling access to money and controlling activities are other
What should I know about domestic
Violence against a partner or a child is a crime
in all states. Each year, at least 2 million women are abused in this country.
Abuse happens to people of all races, all ages, all incomes and all
People who are hurt by their partners or parents
do not cause the abuse. Alcohol and drugs do not cause abuse, although they can
make the violence worse. Abuse can begin, continue and increase during
What can I do if I or my children
First, make sure you and your children are safe.
Go to a safe place, such as the home of a friend or a relative, or an emergency
shelter. Take your children with you. Call the police if you think you can't
leave home safely or if you want to bring charges against your
If possible, take house keys, money and
important papers with you. Do not use drugs or alcohol at this time, because you
need to be alert in a crisis. The staff members at emergency shelters can help
you file for a court order of protection.
What are other ways I can get help
if I am abused?
Talk to your doctor, who can treat any medical
problems, provide support and make referrals. Call an emergency shelter and ask
about counseling and support groups for you and your children. Nurses, social
workers and other health care professionals can also help you.