Abuse and Violence Counseling

Abuse can take many forms, such as mental or emotional abuse, physical abuse or threats of abuse, and sexual abuse. Abuse of children and the elderly are two forms of abuse that are especially worrisome, as these two populations are most vulnerable. However, many adults experience abuse in their day to day life or in an isolated incident. The results of abuse are often devastating for both the victim and those caring for victims. Often abuse results in feelings of helplessness, anger, rage, guilt, shame, confusion, and even self-loathing. Any form of abuse is unacceptable; however, many find it hard to reach out to others, as trust is often shattered. Having a counselor can provide therapy in a safe environment and processing or working through feelings is an important part of getting healthy and beginning to feel self-empowered. Sharing your story is the first step to moving on with your life and taking back your control. As you learn that abuse is never okay, you can move from victim hood to self-compassion and understanding. Learn to free yourself from the emotional pain or learn how to effectively deal with those you care for who have been victims of abuse by seeking the help from a professional mental health worker.

Love Should NOT Hurt

If it does, you may be experiencing the many types of domestic violence. The problem of abuse is not a new one, nor are you alone in your search for answers and options.

  • A woman is beaten every 9 seconds in the United States.
  • Domestic violence occurs within same-sex relationships as it does in heterosexual relationships. The acronym LGBT is often used and stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
  • Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.
  • A recent study found that school age children who witness violence exhibit a range of problem behaviors including depression, anxiety, and violence toward their peers.
  • Nearly one-third of American women report being physically or sexually abused by a partner at some point in their lives.


What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological or may include threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic Violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. It can happen in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Domestic Violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner;

  • Calls you names, insults your or continually criticizes you
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive
  • Tried to isolate you from family or friends
  • Monitors where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with
  • Does not want you to work
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money
  • Punishes you by withholding affection
  • Expects you to ask permission
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Humiliates you in any way

You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:

  • Damaged property when angry (punched walls, thrown objects, etc)
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place
  • Scared you by driving recklessly
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you
  • Forced you to leave your home
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving
  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention
  • Hurt your children
  • Used physical force in sexual situations

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Believes in rigid gender roles
  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Wants you to dress in a sexual or provocative way
  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
  • Has ever forced or manipulated you into having sex or performing sexual acts
  • Held you down during sex
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired, or after beating you
  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex
  • Involved other people against your wishes in sexual activities with you
  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex

The Power and Control Wheel, developed by The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, is a helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors.

Rape counseling

The psychologically related symptoms arising from or related to sexual abuse or rape trauma can cause various emotional reactions and have significantly affected many of those individual's ability for high level functioning, social interaction, communication and the general pursuit of happiness.

Frequently, people get depressed and/or suicidal and have anxiety reactions due to the traumas and related circumstances arising from sexual abuse and/or rape.

It is our belief that most everyone may benefit from individual counseling and psychotherapy to develop greater insights for learning more about oneself and for reduction of symptoms and stabilization. The counseling process should stimulate new coping mechanisms that are important to a sense of well being.