OOP Survivor Blog

Four women and five children die every day in the U.S. due to domestic violence. Read President Barack Obama's Presidential Proclamation announcing his commitment to reducing the prevalence of domestic violence in our country.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Violence Against Women Act and the US Government's Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook

After President Clinton signed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, many new programs were started and enhanced around the country to work towards ending domestic violence. One such program was the establishment of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE).

On the US Department of Agriculture web site, you can find an online Domestic Violence Awareness Handbook that's really quite helpful. I like the fact that domestic violence is clearly defined, and that the forms of domestic violence other than physical abuse are listed. Verbal abuse is so often misunderstood and not considered "real" domestic violence, even though it is just as insidious, and at times even more so, than physical abuse. The following is an excerpt from the handbook:

In an abusive relationship, the abuser may use a number of tactics other than physical violence in order to maintain power and control over his or her partner:

Emotional and verbal abuse:

Survivors of domestic violence recount stories of put-downs, public humiliation, name-calling, mind games and manipulation by their partners. Many say that the emotional abuse they have suffered has left the deepest scars.


It is common for an abuser to be extremely jealous, and insist that the victim not see her friends or family members. The resulting feeling of isolation may then be increased for the victim if she loses her job as a result of absenteeism or decreased productivity (which are often associated with people who are experiencing domestic violence).

Threats and Intimidation:

Threats -- including threats of violence, suicide, or of taking away the children -- are a very common tactic employed by the batterer.

The existence of emotional and verbal abuse, attempts to isolate, and threats and intimidation within a relationship may be an indication that physical abuse is to follow. Even if they are not accompanied by physical abuse, the effect of these incidents must not be minimized. Many of the resources listed in this book have information available for people who are involved with an emotionally abusive intimate partner.

To visit this site and read the handbook, click here.


  1. Kristin,

    This is a great place for women and loved ones to come to. You have survived and so can many more!

    S. Denny

  2. Thanks so much for your comment!! It's amazing what we can survive, isn't it?

    I was so clueless about this realm just a few months ago, and I've had to learn so much in a very short amount of time. If I can help just one woman out there with what I've learned, then it's well worth every minute spent on putting together this blog. Thanks for checking it out!