What We Do > Domestic Violence
Whether you want to leave an abusive relationship or to explore ways to keep yourself safe while you give the relationship another chance, we are here to help. Domestic violence and abuse can leave you feeling alone, confused, embarrassed, depressed, insecure, and unsure where to go or what to do. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There is help, and there is hope.
DASI can also help friends and family members of abused persons learn how to best help their loved ones. Sometimes what we think is helpful can be counter-productive, or even harmful. We can help you learn how to provide support in a safe and meaningful way.
Are you a survivor of past domestic abuse and having trouble in a new relationship? Sometimes we know what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like but need help in how to actually achieve that. DASI can provide information and education on building healthy relationships.
All DASI services are free and confidential:
- Safe House -- When home is not safe
- 24-hour Helpline for assistance, information, support, & referrals
- Supportive Counseling & Groups – You are not alone!
- Legal, Social Service & Housing Advocacy – Help in getting through the systems
- Supportive court accompaniment and preparation – Understand your options!
- Safety Planning – Things you might not think of!
- Information & Referrals – Other community resources
- Transitional Living Program – Working toward independence!
- Food Pantry
- Clothing, personal care items
- Transportation (limited)
Children’s services (Services for children are primarily for children residing in our emergency safe house. Please contact us to inquire about current services/referrals available for nonresidential children.)
Myths and Facts about Domestic Violence
Myth: Domestic violence occurs in only certain ethnic, racial, or socioeconomic groups.
Fact: Domestic abuse crosses all religious, racial, ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic lines. No group is immune.
Myth: Battered women are usually uneducated and have few job skills.
Fact: A woman may be well educated, have a good job, and be battered. Neither education nor earning ability is protection against battering.
Myth: Strong religious beliefs will prevent battering.
Fact: Many deeply religious men batter their wives. Indeed, many religions implicitly hold women to be of less value than men, and some consider wives to be the property of their husbands. This concept of privileged ownership can lead to controlling behavior and many types of abuse.
Myth: Battered women actually enjoy being hurt. Battered women have pre-existing deep psychological problems. Battered women have psychopathic personalities. Batterers are out of control when they beat their partners. You can usually tell if someone is a batterer.
Fact: Women do not enjoy being physically beaten or psychologically abused, nor do they have underlying neuroses that make them want to be hurt. Repeated batterings, and the ensuing feelings of fear and helplessness can cause women to develop defense mechanisms that reduce their sensitivity to pain and injury.
Myth: Drinking and/or drug abuse cause battering.
Fact: Alcohol and drugs do not cause abusive behavior. They may, however, provide an excuse for batterers to explain away their actions. Batterers who abuse their partners while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are also very likely to have done so when they are sober. There are many batterers who do not drink or use drugs at all.
Myth: A batterer does not love his partner.
Fact: Domestic abuse does not occur because there is no love in a relationship. It occurs when the relationship is out of balance, when one partner assumes a disproportionate share of power and control. In a healthy relationship, the feelings, needs obligations and goals of each partner are considered. Equality in a relationship is based upon mutual consideration and respect. When only one partner is making the concessions, adjusting for the feelings of the other and putting her own needs second to the desires of her partner, the prerequisites for an abusive relationship are in place.
Myth: A batterer will stop being violent after he gets married and “settles down.”
Fact: If a man is abusive or violent before marriage, the abuse and violence will usually intensify after marriage. When a batterer marries, he considers his wife to be his "possession." Once she is legally bound to him, his control over her is sanctified by religion and reinforced by the law. Only a few years ago, domestic violence was not considered a crime. Wife-beating was considered a "family dispute."
Myth: Abuse tapers off as people grow old.
Fact: Abuse does not necessarily abate or end with advancing age. Battering and physical abuse may decrease due to the waning strength of the batterer, but psychological and emotional abuse rarely end, and may actually intensify. In some instances, physical abuse may actually begin during the retirement years.
Myth: Children need their father even if he is violent.
Fact: Children who grow up in violent households have a substantially greater incidence of alcohol and drug abuse, juvenile delinquency and anti-social behavior than do children from non-violent homes. Children from violent homes are physically abused or seriously neglected at a rate 15 times greater than that of the general population. Boys who witness their fathers abuse their mothers are likely to be abusive in their own adult intimate relationships. Girls from abusive homes may be more likely to enter into abusive relationships themselves, as this is the only kind of relationship they know.
Myth: The police and the courts can protect battered women.
Fact: There is no way a battered woman can be guaranteed protection from her abuser. Women have been severely injured or killed by partners against whom they held restraining orders. Even incarcerating the abuser may not keep her safe; he may have friends or relatives continue the abuse. An abused or battered woman may have few resources. She may have little or no say in the family’s finances, and may not have access to money. Her car, credit cards, checking and savings accounts may all be under her partner’s control. She may be isolated or estranged from her family and friends. she may have nowhere to go and no one to turn to for help.