What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviors that some individuals use against their intimate partners or former partners. It may include any or all of the following:

Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, choking, using weapons or other objects to cause injury.
Sexual Abuse: Forcing a partner to engage in unwanted sexual activity; treating a partner like a sex object.
Emotional Abuse: Name-calling or put-downs, jealousy, denying or shifting blame, threatening to harm self or others, lying, abusing children or pets, stalking.
Property/Economic Abuse: Withholding money or basic needs such as food, shelter, or medical treatment; stealing or destroying belongings or money; interfering or sabotaging a partner’s job or education.
Isolation: Being secluded from friends and family; limiting outside involvement; not allowing use of car, phone, or other methods of communication.

Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

  1. Have you stopped spending time with friends or family because of your partner’s jealousy?
  2. Are you forced to explain and justify every place you go, everything you do, or everyone you see to avoid making your partner angry?
  3. Does your partner ridicule, criticize, belittle or insult you?
  4. Are you afraid to disagree with your partner?
  5. Has your partner ever hit, slapped, shoved, kicked or thrown things at you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are likely in an abusive relationship.

24-Hour Crisis Line: 860-482-7133 

Facts and Statistics About Domestic Violence

  • Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.
  • Women are much more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner. Women are 84 percent of spouse abuse victims and 86 percent of victims of abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend. About three-fourths of the persons who commit family violence are male.
  • Women ages 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence.
    (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007)

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault is sexual contact without consent. No one, regardless of any circumstances, deserves to be sexually assaulted. Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault.

Sexual Assault includes the following:

  • Rape and attempted rape
  • Unwanted sexual touching
  • Voyeurism or exhibitionism
  • Child sexual abuse or incest
  • Exposing children to sexual acts or pornography
  • Electronic abuse–using technology to harass, monitor, and control

Important Facts About Sexual Assault

  • Rape is an act of power, control, and domination
  • No one deserves to be sexually assaulted
  • No one is immune from the possibility of sexual assault - people of any age, race, gender, etc. can be victims of sexual assault

24-Hour Crisis Line: 860-482-7133

Facts and Statistics about Sexual Assault

  • Nearly 1 in 5 women (19.3%) and 1 in 59 men (1.7%) have been raped in their lifetime.
  • 78% of incidences of sexual violence involved an offender who was a family member, intimate partner, friend, or acquaintance.
  • Fewer than 50% of sexual assault victims report the assault to police
  • 23% of rape or sexual assault victims received help or advice from a victim service agency.
    (from Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization—National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2011; U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2013)

What is Stalking?

Stalking is a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Stalking can include:

  • Repeated, unwanted, intrusive, or frightening communications from the perpetrator by phone, mail, and/or email.
  • Repeatedly leaving or sending victim unwanted items, presents, or flowers.
  • Following or waiting for the victim at places such as home, school, work, or recreation places.
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim’s children, relatives, friends, or pets.
  • Damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property.
  • Harassing victim through social media or the internet.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Obtaining personal information about the victim by accessing public records, using internet search services, hiring private investigators, going through the victim’s garbage, following the victim, contacting victim’s friends, family work, or neighbors, etc.

24-Hour Crisis Line: 860-482-7133 

For more information on stalking, go to www.justice.gov/ovw/stalking.

What is Bullying? 

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. 

The most common types of bullying are verbal bullying, physical abuse, and cyberbullying. Bullying does not have a gender or age limit. Children, teens, and adults can all be victims of bullying. Bullying can take place at school, at home, at work, or in other settings. 

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that includes harassing another individual through the means of technology such as text messages, emails, and social media. 

24-Hour Crisis Line: 860-482-7133  

Facts and statistics on bullying: 

  • Nearly one in three school children experience some level of bullying between 6th and 10th grade. Experts agree that most incidences of bullying occur during middle school. 
  • Most students report name calling as the most prevalent type of bullying, followed by teasing, rumor-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment. 
  • Children and teens who are considered “different” from their peers are the most frequent targets of bullies. Special needs students; LGBTQ+ students; students who are overweight; and students who are perceived as “weak” are the most likely targets of bullying by others. 
  • Students who are bullies as young adults continue the trend of abuse and violence into adulthood. By the age of 30, approximately 40 percent of boys who were identified as bullies in middle- and high school had been arrested three or more times. 

For more information on bullying go to nobullying.com. 

Interpersonal Violence in a Digital Age 

Social media and technology have changed how we interact and conduct routine business. Unfortunately, abusers and stalkers often use technology to abuse or control a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. You can be abused or stalked through social media, texting, email, and more. 

Trust your instincts. If you think you’re being harassed or stalked through technology, you’re probably right. 

Look for patterns to identify misused technology. Carefully determine which technology is being used to harass, stalk, or monitor you. Is someone watching you at home? In your car? 

Document incidents of stalking or harassing behavior. Always be sure to save or print any evidence of stalking or harassing behavior on your phone or computer. 

Report the incidents to law enforcement. Keep a detailed log of your reports to authorities, including the date, time, and name of the person you spoke with when making your report. 

General Safety Tips 

Is someone monitoring your computer? Online accounts? Your cell phone? Your location? 

  • If you suspect you’re being watched on your computer, do not use that computer. Use another one. 
  • Regularly change the usernames and passwords on your online accounts. Create new accounts with complex passwords. Do not use the same password on multiple accounts. Consider creating a new email address. 
  • Check your cell phone settings. Turn off bluetooth and location. 
  • Make sure you know what each of the apps on your cell phone is. If you don’t recognize an app, delete it. An abuser or stalker could have downloaded an app on your phone. 
  • Get a new cell phone and put a new passcode on it. 
  • Have your car checked. If your abuser knows where you are at all times, it may be because your car has a hidden location device on it. 
  • Limit the information you give out about yourself at stores, businesses, and online. Abusers will use your likes and interests to attempt to manipulate you. 
  • Get a P.O. Box or check on address confidentiality programs. Susan B. Anthony Project can help you with this. 
  • Check your house thoroughly for hidden cameras. If your computer or tablet has a built-in camera, consider disabling or covering it. 
  • Do not respond to messages asking for nude or sexual images. Block and report that individual. Screenshot the messages if you choose to bring them to law enforcement. Sextortion is a crime, as is eliciting nude images from a minor child. 
  • Make your online accounts private. Only accept requests from accounts you recognize. 

Read more about technology safety from National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). 

24-Hour Crisis Line: 860-482-7133  

Sextortion  

Sextortion is a form of blackmail in which someone threatens to share a nude or sexual image or video of you unless you give in to their demands. An individual may stalk your social media profiles to understand your friends and interests and gain your trust. An individual may pose as a person you know, or a person closer to your age, in an attempt to manipulate you.  

Learn more here.

Children and Domestic Violence

Growing up in a violent home may be a terrifying and traumatic experience that can affect every aspect of a child’s life, growth, and development.

On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. Many of these women are mothers who often go to great and courageous lengths to protect their children from abusive partners. The non-abusing parent is often the strongest protective factor in the lives of children who are exposed to domestic violence.

Getting help for children who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence is critically important.

Children and Sexual Abuse and Assault

Child sexual abuse includes:

  • any sexual act between an adult and a minor, or between two minors, when one exerts power over the other.
  • forcing, coercing or persuading a child to engage in any type of sexual act.
  • non-contact acts such as exhibitionism, exposure to pornography, voyeurism, and communicating in a sexual manner by phone or internet.

3 out of 4 children who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well.

Emotional and mental health problems are often the first consequence and sign of child sexual abuse.

  • Children who are sexually abused are at significantly greater risk for developing PTSD, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
    • These psychological problems can cause significant disruptions in normal development and often have a lasting impact, leading to dysfunction and distress well into adulthood.
  • Behavioral problems, including physical aggression, occur frequently among sexually abused children and adolescents.
  • Child sexual abuse has been linked to higher levels of risk behaviors.

If you think your child may have been sexually assaulted, talk to your child, listen to your child, and take your child to the doctor.

24-Hour Crisis Line: 860-482-7133 

Facts and Statistics on Children and Interpersonal Violence

(from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report Child Maltreatment, 2010; Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006).

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse.
  • 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident.
  • 15.5 million U.S. children live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year, and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.
  • The majority of intimate partner violent episodes occur at home. Children are present in 43% of these incidents.

For more information on child sexual assault go to www.d2l.org

What is a Healthy Relationship? 

In a healthy relationship: 

  • Your partner respects you and your individuality 
  • You are both open and honest 
  • Your partner is not excessively jealous and does not make you feel guilty when you spend time with family and friends 
  • Your partner supports you and your choices even when they disagree with you 
  • Both of you have equal say and respected boundaries 
  • Your partner understands that you need to spend time with friends, family, or having your own interests 
  • You can communicate your feelings without being afraid of negative consequences 
  • A good partner also compliments you, encourages you to achieve your goals, and does not resent your accomplishments 

My partner doesn’t physically hurt me…does that mean I’m in a healthy relationship? 

Just because there is no physical abuse in your relationship doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It’s not healthy if your partner: 

  • Is inconsiderate, disrespectful, or distrustful 
  • Tries to control what you do, who you spend your time with, or what you wear 
  • Is overly jealous 
  • Humiliates you on social media or in front of your friends 
  • Constantly texts or calls you 
  • Forces you sexually 
  • Threatens to hurt themself if you say you want to break up 

For more information about teens and healthy and unhealthy relationships, go to www.loveisrespect.org 

What is Dating Violence?  

Dating violence is when one person purposely hurts or scares someone they are dating. Dating violence can happen: 

  • In any relationship with a romantic or sexual context 
  • In an established relationship, or on a first date 
  • In monogamous or polyamorous relationships 
  • In straight or LGBTQ+ relationships 
  • To anyone regardless of race, culture, age, income, education level, gender, or sexuality 

Many teens believe that some behaviors, like name-calling or shoving, are part of “normal” relationships. They’re not. If your partner continues to act in this way, their behavior will likely become more violent over time. 

Do you feel safe setting a boundary with your partner? If you’ve told your partner you have been negatively impacted by their action or behavior, and they continue that action of behavior, that is an intentional choice. You deserve a partner that chooses to respect your boundaries. 

Dating violence includes: 

  • Physical abuse: hitting, punching, biting, kicking, slapping, shoving, pulling hair, strangling, pinching 
  • Emotional abuse: gaslighting, name-calling, threatening, screaming, embarrassing, insulting, intimidating, isolating, stalking 
  • Sexual abuse: assuming implied consent; forcing sex or unwanted sexual contact; not letting you use birth control; using drugs or alcohol to take advantage of you sexually 
  • Electronic abuse: using technology or social media to stalk, harass, embarrass, threaten or control you; demanding passwords; sexting; checking cell phones 

Date and Acquaintance Rape 

Just like any sexual assault, date or acquaintance rape is not about love, passion, or even sex. It’s about aggression and control. 

Date rape, also referred to as acquaintance rape, is sexual assault committed by someone the victim knows socially. It’s date rape when a victim does not consent to sex either because they are unwilling or unable to say “yes”. A person is unable to consent to sex when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

A date rape perpetrator can be anyone known to a victim including a boyfriend or girlfriend, an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, a friend, a classmate, or a colleague at work. 

Why victims don’t report date rape: 

Unfortunately, date rape happens quite often, but it is usually not reported to authorities. There are several reasons why victims don’t come forward: 

  • They don’t realize what happened to them was really rape 
  • They are afraid they won’t be believed 
  • They are worried that others, including their perpetrator, will be angry with them 
  • They blame themselves or feel that they somehow deserved it 
  • They are unaware of or discouraged by the criminal justice process 

A victim of date rape, or any sexual assault, is never at fault. No one has the right to force or coerce another person into having sex. 

The Myths 

Here are just a few of the frequently heard myths about sexual assault victims and perpetrators: 

  • “Did you see what ___ was wearing?!” 
  • “___ was so drunk!” 
  • “___ has sex with everyone.” 
  • “Guys don’t get raped.” 
  • “Guys can’t stop once they start having sex.” 
  • “___ was flirting all night.” 
  • “They’re dating. That’s not rape.” 
  • “___ is the nicest guy ever! Not a rapist!” 
  • “___ lies about everything.” 
  • “They’ve had sex a million times already.” 

The Facts 

The fact is rape is rape – no matter what the victim was wearing, how they were behaving, what drugs or alcohol they consumed, their gender, or how many times or with how many people they had had sex with in the past. 

Date Rape Drugs 

Date rape drugs are used to control victims. The effects of these drugs can be felt within minutes and can last for hours. Date rape drugs can leave you feeling sleepy, drunk, disoriented, nauseas, confused, weak, numb, or out of control. Ultimately, they can cause you to pass out and forget everything that happened while you were on the drug. A person is unable to consent to sexual contact when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

The 3 most common date rape drugs are: 

  • rohypnol, also called roofies, lunch money, or mind erasers 
  • GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid), also known as cherry meth, energy drink or gook 
  • ketamine, referred to as bump, special K, and super acid 

These drugs are almost impossible to detect, especially in dark colored drinks or in a dark room. They are extremely dangerous and can lead to death if given to someone who has been drinking. 

Alcohol and other drugs can also play a role in date rapes. These substances can impair judgment, lower inhibitions, and even allow aggression to surface in some people. Alcohol and drugs also make it harder to defend yourself or to get help if you need it. 

Safety Tips: 

  • Trust your gut. If it’s telling you that something isn’t right, then it probably isn’t. 
  • Don’t believe the myths. The fact is that anyone can be a victim, and anyone can be a perpetrator of sexual assault. 
  • Keep an eye on your drink at all times, including when it’s being made! If you lose sight of it at any point, get a new one. 
  • Share these tips with your friends. Knowledge is power! 

24-Hour Crisis Line: 860-482-7133 

Power and Control Wheels 

The Power and Control wheel highlights aspects of an abusive relationship. In contrast, the Equality wheel highlights aspects of a healthy partnership. Which wheel do you most closely align with in your relationship? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan B. Anthony Project provides prevention education programming for high schoolers related to healthy relationships. To learn more, visit our Outreach & Prevention Education page. 

Anyone Can Be a Victim

Men experience domestic violence and sexual assault. Sexual abuse and rape create substantial physical and psychological harm to male victims.

Men experience many of the same psychological reactions to violence as women including:

  • Guilt, shame, and humiliation
  • Anger and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal from relationships

Men and boys are less likely to report the violence and seek help due to the following challenges: the stigma of being a male victim, the perceived failure to conform to the macho stereotype, the fear of not being believed, and the lack of support from society, family members, and friends.

24-Hour Crisis Line: 860-482-7133

Facts and Statistics About Male Victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse

(The National Center for Victims of Crime, Male Rape, 2007; Sexual Abuse of Males: Prevalence, Possible Lasting Effects, and Resources, 2007)

  • One out of fourteen men has been physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, co-habitating partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or date at some point in their lives
  • In terms of victimization, intimate partner violence against men is overwhelming committed in same-sex relationships rather than in heterosexual relationships
  • One in 33 men have been the victim of a completed or attempted rape
  • 94% of the perpetrators of sexual abuse against boys are men
  • One in six boys will be sexually abused by age 16

End Hunger Connecticut! (EHC)

End Hunger Connecticut! focuses on outreach, education, advocacy, and technical assistance to improve access to healthy and nutritious foods while also increasing food security in Connecticut. Some of their programs and services include SNAP Assistance, Summer Meals Program, School Breakfasts, and more.

Summer Meals

From the EHC website: 

"The CT Summer Meals Program is federally funded by the USDA and state-administered by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). The program provides free, nutritious meals to kids during summer break. Summer Meals meet federal nutrition guidelines and are composed of milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat or another protein. Summer Meals are offered at hundreds of sites around the state from June to late August, serving combinations of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Meals are free to any child age 18-and-under, no questions asked."

Locally, Summer Meals will be provided at:

RLC (Former East School)
215 Hogan Drive
Torrington, CT 06790
June 26th-August 14th
3:30-5:00
 
First Congregational Church
835 Riverside Ave.
Torrington, CT 06790
June 26th-August 14th
11:30 am - 12:15 pm
 
Pearson School
2 Wetmore Ave.
Winsted, CT 06098
June 26th-August 14th
3:30-5:00
 

Visit the EHC website for more information!