Definitions of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault:

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior used to gain power and control over another person in a relationship. Domestic violence does not only consist of threats or physical harm; it can also be verbal, emotional, sexual, or economic abuse. Domestic violence can take place within a past or present: marriage, dating relationship, or gay or lesbian relationship.


Signs of Domestic Violence can include but are not limited to:

Slapping, pushing, or other physical harm

Threats of physical harm or death

Control over the lives of others including: disallowing one’s partner to go to work, school, or confining them to the house

Threats of deportation or taking away one’s children

Ruining one’s reputation


Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced to submit sexually to another person against his or her will. Sexual assault may include a wide range of physical experiences varying from inappropriate touching or penetration. The aggressor is, in most cases, an acquaintance, friend, family member, intimate partner, classmate or religious leader. They can also be people who are in positions of power such as counselors, therapists, or teachers.