What is Domestic Violence?
Main Office: 214 West 2nd Street • Marshfield, WI 54449 View All Locations

What is Domestic Violence

A pattern of coercive tactics that are used to gain and maintain power and control in an ongoing, familiar relationship

  • Forms of abuse include: psychological, emotional, physical, sexual and/or economic and may be used in combination
  • Abusers believe they are entitled to control how their victims think, feel and behave
  • Physical and sexual violence may be a component of the abuse but some victims are controlled through intimidation, threats, emotional and psychological abuse and isolation- no physical abuse is necessary
  • In an abusive relationship, one party fears the other and attempts to comply with the other's wishes to avoid harm
  • Anyone can be a victim
  • Abuse occurs in all racial, ethnic, economic, religious groups, and across the lifespan
  • Domestic Violence is illegal- an adult can be arrested, charged, and convicted.

Abusive tactics

  • Threatens to leave, divorce, commit suicide or institutionalize you
  • Slaps, hits, punches, burns, chokes you or throws things
  • Is rough with your intimate body parts during care giving
  • Takes your walker, wheelchairs, glasses, dentures
  • Ignores or ridicules your religious and/or cultural traditions
  • Humiliates, demeans and/or ridicules you
  • Misleads other family members about extent and nature of illnesses and/or conditions
  • Controls what you do, who you see and where you go
  • Treats you like a servant
  • Steals your money, titles or possessions

Children of Domestic Violence

  • Devastating for children
  • Never the fault of children
  • Cannot be ended by children
  • Children are often unintended victims stuck in the middle of a situation beyond their control and understanding
  • When there is violence in the home, children do not develop and grow normally
  • Violence in your family has long-lasting and negative psychological, behavioral, and emotional effects

Parents who have children in the domestic violence homes:

  • Tell your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent.
  • Tell them that neither you, nor they, are at fault or the cause of violence, and when anyone is being violent, it is important to stay safe.

Abuse in Late Life is...

  • Physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, or financial
  • Victims are 50 years of age or older
  • Often happens within a prior, ongoing, trusting relationship
  • The abuser can be a spouse/partner, adult child, grandchild, another family member or caregiver
  • Abuse may occur within the victim's home or in a facility setting

Possible signs of abuse

  • Lack of food
  • Bruises or soiled clothing
  • Fearful or confusion
  • Isolation/loneliness
  • Unpaid bills

What You Can Do If You Suspect Your Friend Is A Victim Of Spouse Abuse:

  • Be gentle, but do be direct.  Ask her if she is being abused.  The victim might deny it, but at least she had the opportunity to talk.
  • Don't pry or push.  Be supportive and let her know you are willing to listen if she would like to talk about it
  • Most important:  Don't be judgmental!  The last thing the victim needs to hear is the question:  "Why do you stay?"  She has already ask herself that many times
  • Don't say:  "Why don't you just leave him?"  The decision to stay or leave is not easy.  Spouse abuse is a complext problem involving many issues.
  • Do leave the decision making to the victim.  Don't try to rescue her-but help her discover her own strengths and offer support.
  • Don't smother her with sympathy.  That is disabling and may make her feel even less in control and capable.
  • Educate yourself about the problem of spouse abuse
  • Let the victim know that there are alternatives.  No one deserves to be beaten!
  • Tell her abou the Personal Development Center.
  • The victim will make her own decision- in her own time and her own way!

A reporter of abuse has the right to remain anonymous.

Report Elder Abuse to these agencies:

  • Wood County Department of Social Services Phone(715) 387-6374
  • Clark County Department of Social Services Phone(866) 743-5233 (toll free)

Marshfield Office

214 West 2nd Street
Marshfield, WI 54449

Phone: (715) 384-2971
After Hours Crisis Intervention: (715) 384-5555
Fax: (715) 384-7826

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by appointment

Neillsville Office

400 Hewett Street
Suite 108
Neillsville, WI 54456

Phone: (715) 743-6401
Toll Free: (877) 743-6262
24 hr. Crisis Line: (715) 937-1193
Fax: (715) 384-7826