Domestic violence (DV) is a pattern of power and control that one person uses against their intimate partner. It can happen in any relationship (any age, any gender, any culture). DV is not only physical abuse, it often includes emotional, financial and other forms of abuse. People who cause harm use tactics like intimidation to gain power and control. They may use emotional abuse, making insults like you are a terrible parent, with the goal to make you feel less confident in yourself. People who cause harm may isolate their partner, take away their phone, and/or make them lose their friends and support system. They may minimize, deny and blame their partner for the abuse. Survivors often feel responsible for causing the violence. People who cause harm rarely take responsibility for their actions. They may use children as a way to control their partner. For example, they may tell the survivor, “If you leave me, I will go to court and take the children away from you.” People who cause harm often use their privileges against their partner. Privileges include male, hearing, straight, white, well-educated, having citizenship, among others. One way of using hearing privilege is to take over the interpreting process if police are called to their home. They make it seem like the Deaf survivor made a mistake to call so the police don’t do anything to intervene. People who cause harm will use economic abuse to control their partner. They may take away SSI money or the ATM card so that their partner does not have resources for safety. Threats and force is another tactic people who cause harm may use. They may force their partner to have sex, to demand sex as a requirement to be in the relationship, or force them to do things they don’t feel comfortable doing — that is rape. These are a few of the ways abusers get power and control over their partner. Domestic violence is never acceptable, and it is against the law. No one deserves to experience violence. Contact an advocate at DeafHope for more information.