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There's Not a 'Type'

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, background or religion.  Toni grew up in a loving, family-oriented home. Her unexpected death is the catalyst for reaching out to others and improving their lives before tragedy happens.

The goal of the Together Overcoming Negative Influences Connection is to teach young people about becoming advocates against domestic and substance abuse, and raise awareness that abuse is not limited to physical violence. The following resources and activities will help us reach these goals:

  • Workshop in schools about domestic violence
  • Advocates for victims of abuse
  • Linking victims to support groups

Domestic violence isn’t an argument every once in a while, or a bad mood after a bad day.  Domestic violence (or relationship abuse) is a pattern of violent behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend, wife or husband.

Abuse can cause injury or even death but doesn’t have to be physical.  It can include verbal and emotional abuse, constant insults, isolation from friends and family, name calling, controlling what someone wears and it can also include sexual abuse.

It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what race or religion they are, no matter what level of education or economic background.  Domestic violence also occurs in same-sex relationships.

Be Aware

  • Ten Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship
  • Ask yourself – Does your partner . . . ?
  • What if it’s YOU who is in danger?
  • Are there signs that someone will be abusive?
  • Just because a violent relationship is over…is the risk?
  • Create a Personal Safety Plan.

Why Doesn't She Just Leave?

A guy doesn’t usually start hitting his girlfriend out of the blue — it generally starts after a history of verbal and emotional abuse: cutting her down, telling her she’s stupid or fat or ugly, chipping away at her sense of self-worth.

Typically, by the time the physical violence begins, her self-esteem is seriously damaged. When she doesn’t value herself, it is more likely that she’ll accept and put up with the physical abuse.

Once her self-esteem has been broken down, it can be even harder for her to leave the
relationship but there are many other reasons why it can be difficult to get out of a violent
relationship. Usually, violence isn’t constant but comes in cycles, with a “honeymoon”
period after the violent episode, when the batterer says that he’s sorry and that it will
never happen again.

The victim might really love the guy… she probably just wants the violence to end, not
the entire relationship.

She may also think that she can change him.

It takes a lot of courage to end any relationship. If there’s violence involved, it will take a
whole lot more.

Resources for Family and Friends


  • Central Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • South-Eastern Europe
  • Northern, Western and
  • Southern Europe

Middle East and North Africa

  • Middle East
  • North Africa