Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence: Finding Safety and Support - Contents

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Understanding the Problem

Getting Safe

The Police and Courts

Specific Populations

Friends, Family and Co-workers



For the purposes of this booklet, the term "domestic violence" is defined as abuse by one adult intimate partner against another. While the information included in this booklet is primarily meant for adults, it may also apply to adolescents experiencing dating violence. There is also information specific to teens in the Special Populations section of this booklet.

Domestic violence is one of the most serious public health issues and criminal justice issues facing women today. Because the vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women who are abused by their male partners, this booklet will refer to victims as female and abusers as male. But most of the information contained in this guide will apply to all victims regardless of their gender or the gender of their partner, including people who are lesbian, gay, transgender or bisexual and men who are physically abused by their female partners.