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) and it is always wrong. DV is not only physical abuse, it often includes emotional, financial and other forms of abuse. Abusers use tactics like intimidation to gain power and control. They will use emotional abuse, making insults like you are a terrible mother, with the goal to make you feel less than. Abusers will isolate their partner, maybe take away their phone, to make them lose all their friends and support system. They will minimize, deny and blame their partner for the abuse. Survivors often feel responsible for causing the violence. Abusers rarely take responsibility for their actions. They will often use children as a way to control their partner. For example, “If you leave me, I will go to court and take the children away from you.” Abusers often use male or hearing privilege against their partner. 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. Abusers 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 abusers use. Often they force their partner to have sex, demand sex as a part of the relationship, force them to do things they don’t feel comfortable doing. This is rape. These are a few of the ways abusers get power and control over their partner. These actions are wrong and they are illegal. No one deserves to experience this. Contact an advocate at DeafHope for more information.