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Statistics About Sexual Assault

  • 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted)
  • About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime
  • From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse
  • The majority of rapes occur near a victim’s home.
  • Most rapes (7 out of 10) are committed by someone the victim knows
  • 45% committed by an acquaintance and 25% committed by a current or former intimate partner
  • 57% of perpetrators are white
  • Only 11% of perpetrators use a gun, knife, or other weapon. Most commonly they use their body weight and threats
  • 4% lesbians, 74.9% bisexual women and 43.3% heterosexual women reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes, while 40.2% gay men, 47.4% bisexual men and 20.8% heterosexual men reported sexual violence other than rape during their lifetimes
  • 91% of the victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and 9% are male


College Sexual Assault

  • Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation
  • 21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females, and 4% of non-TGQN males
  • Only 20% of female student victims, age 18-24, report to law enforcement
  • The most commonly cited reason for not reporting is a belief that it was not serious enough
  • August, September, October, and November are when the majority of college sexual assaults occur on campus
  • The prevalence of false reporting is between 2% and 10%
    Sources: and

Male victims of sexual violence

  • It is estimated that 1 in 6 men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before age 18. If you believe you have had an unwanted or abusive sexual experience, you are not alone. Click here for a list of resources available to men. 
  • “Sexual abuse” describes experiences in which people are subjected to unwanted sexual contact involving force or threats, or instances that involve a big power differential and exploitation. 
    • It includes being forced to penetrate, being forced to receive or give oral sex or anal sex, being forced to watch pornography, being forced to touch someone’s genitals both over and under clothes, being touched sexually without your consent over or under clothes, and/or being prevented from using birth control during sex. This list is not exhaustive. Click here for more information.
  • Men who experience sexual abuse, whether recently or in the past, may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, alcoholism, problems in intimate relationships, and sense of apathy.
  • Men can experience sexual abuse by both men and women
  • Both straight and gay men sexually abuse men
  • If you experienced pleasure or an erection during sexual abuse that does not mean that you enjoyed the experience nor that you wanted it to happen. Rather, it is a physiological response and other men have experienced that as well
  • Your abuse does not determine your sexual orientation
  • Most men who experience sexual assault do not become abusive
  • Click here for a list of resources available to men. 



Abuse Via the Internet

    • Approximately 1 in 7 (13%) youth Internet users received unwanted sexual solicitations. 
    • 9% of youth Internet users had been exposed to distressing sexual material while online. 
    • Predators seek youths vulnerable to seduction, including those with histories of sexual or physical abuse, those who post sexually provocative photos/videos online, and those who talk about sex with unknown people online. 
    • 1 in 25 youths received an online sexual solicitation in which the solicitor tried to make offline contact. 
    • In more than one-quarter (27%) of incidents, solicitors asked youths for sexual photographs of themselves. 
    • The most common first encounter of a predator with an Internet-initiated sex crimes victim took place in an online chat room (76%). 
    • In nearly half (47%) of the cases involving an Internet-initiated sex crimes victim, the predator offered gifts or money during the relationship-building phase. 
    • Internet-based predators used less deception to befriend their online victims than experts had thought. Only 5% of the predators told their victims that they were in the same age group as the victims. Most offenders told the victims that they were older males seeking sexual relations. 
    • 15% of cell-owning teens (12–17) say they have received sexually suggestive nude/semi-nude images of someone they know via text. 
  • Of respondents to a survey of juvenile victims of Internet-initiated sex crimes, the majority met the predator willingly face-to-face and 93% of those encounters had included sexual contact. 
  • 72% of teenagers and young adults believe that digital abuse is something that should be addressed by society. 
  • 11% of teenagers and young adults say they have shared naked pictures of themselves online or via text message. Of those, 26% do not think the person whom they sent the naked pictures to shared them with anyone else. 
  • 26% of teenagers and young adults say they have participated in sexting (12 different forms of sexting were examined), a 6% decline since 2011. 
  • Nearly 40% of young people in a relationship have experienced at least one form of abuse via technology. A large majority (81%) say they rarely or never feel their significant other uses technology to keep tabs on them too often.

Carroll University Definitions

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit the same): Non-consensual sexual contact (sexual assault) is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person, upon a person, which is without consent and/or by force.  This includes but is not limited to: intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, and/or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, and/or making another person touch yourself and/or them with or on any of these body parts.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts at the same): Non-consensual sexual contact (rape) is any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object, by a person, upon a person, which is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

  • Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.  Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure an individual uses to get consent from another.  When an individual makes it clear that they do not want sexual activity, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual activity, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
  • Consent is clear, knowing, and voluntary agreement to participate in certain conduct.  Consent is active, not passive.  Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.  Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.
    • Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
    • Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.
    • In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.
  • Force. Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on an individual physically to gain sexual access.  Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats), and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.There is no requirement that an individual resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent.  Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
  • Incapacitation. Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual activity).
    • Sexual activity with an individual who one should know to be – or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be – mentally or physically incapacitated constitutes a violation of this policy.
    • Sexual activity with an individual whose incapacity results from alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout, mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs

Source: Carroll University Student Code of Conduct

Sexual assault/non-consensual sexual contact and/or intercourse can take many different forms, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault. 

What is sexual assault (non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse)? 

The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:

  • Attempted rape
  • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
  • Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape

What is rape (non-consensual sexual intercourse)? 

Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape. The term rape is often used as a legal definition to specifically include sexual penetration without consent. For its Uniform Crime Reports, the FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” See Wisconsin's sexual assault statute here


What is force? 

Force/Coercion doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics.

  • Student Code of Conduct definition: click here.
  • Legal definition: click here.


Who are the perpetrators?

The majority of perpetrators are someone known to the victim. Approximately seven out of 10 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, such as in the case of intimate partner sexual violence or acquaintance rape.


The term “date rape” is sometimes used to refer to acquaintance rape. Perpetrators of acquaintance rape might be a date, but they could also be a classmate, a neighbor, a friend’s significant other, or any number of different roles. It’s important to remember that dating, instances of past intimacy, or other acts like kissing do not give someone consent for increased or continued sexual contact.


What is consent? 

Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. There are many ways to give consent, and some of those are discussed below. Consent doesn’t have to be verbal, but verbally agreeing to different sexual activities can help both you and your partner respect each other’s boundaries.

How does consent work in real life?

When you’re engaging in sexual activity, consent is about communication. And it should happen every time. Giving consent for one activity, one time, does not mean giving consent for increased or recurring sexual contact. For example, agreeing to kiss someone doesn’t give that person permission to remove your clothes. Having sex with someone in the past doesn’t give that person permission to have sex with you again in the future.

You can change your mind at any time. 

You can withdraw consent at any point if you feel uncomfortable. It’s important to clearly communicate to your partner that you are no longer comfortable with this activity and wish to stop. The best way to ensure both parties are comfortable with any sexual activity is to talk about it.

Positive consent can look like this:

  • Communicating when you change the type or degree of sexual activity with phrases like “Is this OK?”
  • Explicitly agreeing to certain activities, either by saying “yes” or another affirmative statement, like “I’m open to trying.”
  • Using physical cues to let the other person know you’re comfortable taking things to the next level

It does NOT look like this:

  • Refusing to acknowledge “no”
  • Assuming that wearing certain clothes, flirting, or kissing is an invitation for anything more
  • Someone being under the legal age of consent, as defined by the state
  • Someone being incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol
  • Pressuring someone into sexual activity by using fear or intimidation
  • Assuming you have permission to engage in a sexual act because you’ve done it in the past

The legal role of consent

There is no single legal definition of consent. Each state sets its own definition, either in law or through court cases. In general, there are three main ways that states analyze consent in relation to sexual acts:

  • Affirmative consent: Did the person express overt actions or words indicating agreement for sexual acts?
  • Freely given consent: Was the consent offered of the person’s own free will, without being induced by fraud, coercion, violence, or threat of violence?
  • Capacity to consent: Did the individual have the capacity, or legal ability, to consent?

WI law on consent: 

Consent” means words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.

A person cannot consent to sexual contact or sexual intercourse in circumstances where:

  • (a) the person suffers from a mental illness or defect which impairs capacity to appraise personal conduct;
  • (b) the person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 940.225(4).

Capacity to consent

A person’s capacity, or ability, to legally consent to sexual activity can be based on a number of factors, which often vary from state to state. In a criminal investigation, a state may use these factors to determine if a person who engaged in sexual activity had the capacity to consent. If not, the state may be able to charge the perpetrator with a crime. Examples of some factors that may contribute to someone’s capacity to consent include:

  • Age: Is the person at or above the age of consent for that state? Does the age difference between the perpetrator and victim affect the age of consent in that state?
  • Developmental disability: Does the person have a developmental disability or other form of mental incapacitation, such as a traumatic brain injury?
  • Intoxication: Was the person intoxicated? Different states have different definitions of intoxication, and in some states it matters whether you voluntarily or involuntarily became intoxicated.
  • Physical disability: Does the persona have a physical disability, incapacity, or other form of helplessness?
  • Relationship of victim/perpetrator: Was the alleged perpetrator in a position of authority, such as such as a teacher or correctional office?
  • Unconsciousness: Was the person sleeping, sedated, strangulated, or suffering from physical trauma?
  • Vulnerable adults: Is the person considered a vulnerable adult, such as an elderly or ill person? Is this adult dependent on others for care?

Alcohol and Consent

Does intoxication impact someone's ability to consent? 

Yes, Wisconsin law says that sexual assault takes place when all of the following are present: 

  1. The victim is under the influence to the point that the person is incapable of freely giving consent
  2. The defendant knows the person is incapable of giving consent
  3. The defendant has sexual contact or attempts to have sexual contact with the person who is incapable of giving consent. 

Source: Wis. Stat. Ann. § 940.225(2) and RAINN

Resources for Victims of Sexual Assault

Immediate safety concerns:     Call 911, Public Safety (262) 524-7300, or Waukesha Police Department (262) 524-3831.

Sexual assault medical help:    Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) (262) 928-1000 - Free and confidential. To learn more about what is included in a SANE
                                                  medical exam after a sexual assault, click here

                                                  If you have been sexually assaulted within the last 72 hours, you may be able to preserve DNA evidence. DNA evidence can be
                                                  collected through a SANE medical exam. If you are interested in this free and confidential service, If you want to preserve
                                                  physical evidence, do not change or shower. If you do remove items of clothing, place them in a paper bag (not plastic). If oral
                                                  contact took place, try not to eat, smoke, eat, drink, or brush your teeth. The sexual assault nurse examiner will be able to talk
                                                  with you about your concerns, check for injuries, examine you for possible pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. Click
                                                  here for more information on the importance of DNA evidence. 

Confidential reporting:             On-Campus                                                          Off-Campus. 

                                                  Chaplain: (262) 524-7336                                     Waukesha Women's Center: (262) 542-3828 24-hour hotline

                                                  Walter Young Counselors: (262) 524-7335              Sexual Assault Treatment Center: (414) 219-5555 Crisis line

                                                  Health Center NP's: (262) 524-7233                       Cornerstone Counseling Services: (262) 789-1191

                                                                                                                             National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-4673 

It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are after a sexual assault. Please know that you’re not alone. Below are some things to keep in mind. If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 911.

  1. Your safety is important. Are you in a safe place? If you’re not feeling safe, consider reaching out to someone you trust for support. You don’t have to go through this alone.
  2. What happened was not your fault. Something happened to you that you didn’t want to happen—and that’s not OK.
  3. Call the an advocate (listed above). You can call a sexual assault advocate, either on-campus or off-campus in the area. They will help you with the options and resources available. Some of these service providers may be able to send a trained advocate to accompany you.

Click here for a more complete list of resources. 

Male Victims of Sexual Assault

It is estimated that 1 in 6 men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before age 18. If you believe you have had an unwanted or abusive sexual experience, you are not alone.

  • "Researchers use “sexual abuse” to describe experiences in which children are subjected to unwanted sexual contact involving force, threats, or a large age difference between the child and the other person (which involves a big power differential and exploitation)." (click for citation).
  • If you experienced sexual abuse, whether recently or in the past, you may be experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, depression, alcoholism, problems in intimate relationships, and sense of apathy. 
  • There are several resources available to you. There are also resources that exist specifically for male survivors of sexual assault. Click here for a list of resources available to you. 

Sexual Exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for the actor’s own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.  Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to:

  • invasion of sexual privacy
  • prostituting another student
  • photographing, video-taping or audio-taping of sexual activity or of a nude or partially nude person without consent
  • engaging in voyeurism
  • knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student
  • exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances and/or inducing another to expose their genitals
  • sexually-based stalking and/or bullying.

Source: Carroll University Student Handbook

Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct (repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person without legitimate purpose or repeatedly conveying oral or written threats, threats implied by conduct, or a combination thereof, directed at or toward a person) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his/her safety or the safety of others, or (b) suffer significant emotional distress.

What does stalking look like? 

  • Does someone follow you and show up wherever you are?
  • Does someone send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails?
  • Has someone damaged your home, car, or other property?
  • Does someone monitor your phone calls or computer use?
  • Does someone use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go?
  • Does someone drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work when you do not want them to?
  • Does someone threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets?
  • Does someone find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers?
  • Is someone posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth?
  • Is someone acting in a way that controls, tracks, or frightens you?

Stalking Statistics

  • 4.2% of college students experience stalking
  • 7.5 million people are stalked in one year in the United States.
  • Over 85% of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
  • 61% of female victims and 44% of male victims of stalking are stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
  • 25% of female victims and 32% of male victims of stalking are stalked by an acquaintance.
  • About 1 in 5 of stalking victims are stalked by a stranger.
  • Persons aged 18-24 years experience the highest rate of stalking.
  • 11% of stalking victims have been stalked for 5 years or more.
  • 46% of stalking victims experience at least one unwanted contact per week.


Wisconsin Criminal Stalking Laws

Wis. Stat. § 940.32. Stalking.

What can you do if you are being stalked?

  • If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Trust your instincts. Don't downplay the danger. Ask a professional or someone you trust for help.
  • Take threats seriously. Danger generally is higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
  • Contact a crisis hotline, victim services agency, any of the services listed below. They can help you devise a safety plan, give you information about local laws, weigh options such as seeking a protection order, and refer you to other services.
  • Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else. Tell people how they can help you. Click here to learn about keeping your address private.
  • Don't communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
  • Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date, and place. Keep emails, text messages, phone messages, letters, or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw. Click here to download a stalking incident and behavior log.
  • Consider getting a no contact or a temporary restraining order that tells the stalker to stay away from you. 
  • Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support.
  • Tell staff at your job or school. Ask them to help watch out for your safety.


Resources for Stalking

Call 911, Public Safety (262) 524-7300, or Waukesha Police Department (262) 524-3831.

Sexual assault medical help:    Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) (262) 928-1000 - Free and confidential. 

Stalking Resource Center:        (202) 467-8700, or by e-mail at, or click here to visit their website. 

Victim Connect:                         If you need immediate assistance, the Victim Connect Helpline provides information and referrals for victims of all

                                                  crime and can be reached at 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846). 

Confidential reporting:             On-Campus                                                          Off-Campus. 

                                                  Chaplain: (262) 524-7336                                     Waukesha Women's Center: (262) 542-3828 24-hour hotline

                                                  Walter Young Counselors: (262) 524-7335              Sexual Assault Treatment Center: (414) 219-5555 Crisis line

                                                  Health Center RN's: (262) 524-7233                       Cornerstone Counseling Services - (262) 789-1191

Types of Abuse in Relationships

Dating violence: Dating violence involves an assault, attack or aggressive behavior by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of romantic or intimate nature with the survivor. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (a) the length of the relationship, (b) the type of relationship, and (c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

  • Dating violence is characterized by pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Dating violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence occurs when a person uses physical aggression, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, stalking, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or economic abuse to gain or maintain power and control over another person in a domestic or romantic relationship.  This includes but is not limited to any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.  Domestic violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior in relationships which could include individuals who are currently or formerly married or in a domestic partnership, currently or formerly dating, currently or formerly living together, currently or formerly in a caregiver relationship, have a child in common, or are a family member.

Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.

Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, taking and/or distributing sexual pictures/videos without consent, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.

Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.

Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.

Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include  - but are not limited to - causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

Abuse through Technology: Elements of emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse can occur through texting, messaging, and calling. Additionally, publicly shaming or ridiculing can occur by posting images or content online where someone's friends, family, or the public can see. 

Dating/domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Dating/domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Dating/domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.

Dating/domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life - therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.

Sources: Carroll University Student Handbook, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Center for Victims of Crime, Office on Violence Against Women, and

Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship

You may be in an abusive relationship if your partner does any of the following: 

  • Checks your cell phone or email without your permission
  • Constantly puts you down
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Explosive temper
  • Isolating you from family or friends
  • Makes false accusations about you
  • Mood swings
  • Physically hurts in you in any way
  • Possessive of you and your time
  • Tells you what to do
  • Controls how you spend your money
  • Controls how you spend your time

Resources for Dating/Domestic Violence

Specifically for Dating Violence:

  • Love Is Respect
    • Specifically targeted towards dating violence and how to help someone who is currently in an abusive relationship.
      Call 1-866-331-9474
      Live online chat 24/7. Click here
      Chat through text: text "loveis" to 22522
      Chat available En Espanol  
      • Find information on
        • how to help someone
        • resources for yourself
        • resources for healthy relationships 
        • legal resources

Resources for Dating and/or Domestic Violence

For Abusers:

Understanding Dating/Domestic Violence


Why do people stay in abusive relationships? 

There are several reasons someone might stay in an abusive relationship. 

  • Fear of what will happen if you leave
  • Belief that the abusive behavior is normal
  • Not recognizing the abusive behavior
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear that you will never find anyone else
  • Love for the abusive partner
  • Cultural/religious reasons
  • Pregnancy/co-parenting
  • Distrust of police
  • Nowhere else to live
  • The abusive partner controls the finances
  • Pets and or children to consider
  • Disability
  • etc.