Domestic Violence


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Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Children Living in Homes with Domestic Violence

How Children Feel When Abuse is Occurring Between Parents

  • Powerless – because they can’t stop the abuse
  • Guilty – believing they somehow caused the abuse
  • Helpless – because they feel a need to help solve the problem
  • Angry – blaming the victimized parent, assuming they are at fault
  • Angry – blaming the abusive parent for hurting members of the family
  • Confused- because the parents may try to force children to choose sides
  • Afraid- for themselves and all family members
  • Isolated and insecure, often making up excuses so they don’t have to go home to explain why they can’t invite friends over
  • Dishonest and embarrassed because they make up excuses for injuries and bruises
  • Overwhelmed by the situation, often leading to poor school performance and avoidance of their friends

Characteristics of Children Living in Homes Where There is Violence

  • Lonely
  • Isolated—tend to not bring home friends
  • Uses violence and threats to solve problems
  • Difficulty in developing close relationships-has trouble separating self from conflict
  • Blames self–takes responsibility for the violence witnessed
  • Uses all energy to keep “the family secret”
  • Problems trusting others
  • Fear of failure—unwilling or fearful of trying something new
  • Over-achieving–feels need to be perfect
  • Limited physical expression in regards to body image
  • Accident-prone
  • Conflicting feelings of shame or guilt
  • Confusion about family roles
  • Identify with abusive parent to stay safe
  • Denial
  • Pseudo maturity–reversal of family roles
  • Developmental delays
  • Aggressive language or behavior
  • Preoccupation with violence
  • Unusual degree of fear
  • Associates love with violence
  • Feelings of powerlessness or hopelessness
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Need for attention
  • Trouble respecting authority figures
  • Regressive behavior (i.e.: bedwetting, baby talk, phobias, fear of dark)
  • Chronic run away

*The information above was provided by the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center

Characteristics of Victims
  • Traditional role modeling
  • Raised to measure their success as a human being with her success as a wife and mother
  • Is financially dependent on spouse
  • Has few friends and minimal family contact
  • Has strong feelings of worthlessness and aloneness
  • Is fearful for her life and that of her children
  • Often believes she is the cause of abuse
  • Is uninformed about resources for help
  • Feels ashamed of the abuse
  • Survives on the hope that the relationship will change
  • Has seen her own mother abused by her father
  • Sometimes confuses love and violence
  • Knows that the threat of her life may actually increase if she leaves
  • Is fearful that her spouse will take her children from her
  • Feels that it is her job to hold the family together
  • Sees her husband’s happiness as a measure of her success as a wife
  • Knows that leaving her spouse will mean tremendous economic, emotional, occupational and personal hardships
  • Commonly uses denial as a coping mechanism
  • Believes that she can’t survive without him and no one else could love her
Why Victims Stay In Relationships

If it’s so bad, why doesn’t she just leave?

  • Most DV victims are females (95%).
  • Victim feels that she can control the situation herself – it’s just an anger or alcohol problem.
  • Suspect has told the victim that the police will arrest her – if she is not legal.
  • Victim knows that leaving her spouse will mean tremendous economic, occupational, spiritual, social and personal hardship.
  • Victim believes the threats and emotional abuse of the abuser. Those threats and words will replay in her mind.
  • Victims are emotionally dependent on their relationship.
  • Victim feels ashamed of the abuse and will try to hide it.
  • Victim believes that she can’t survive without him and that no one else would love her.
  • Victim is fearful that the spouse will take the children from her.
  • It takes a victim 7-8 times to actually leave their abuser!
  • Victim believes she is the cause of the abuse.  If she just didn’t push his buttons…
  • Victims rarely believe their situation is really that bad.
  • Victim survives on the hope that the relationship will change!
  • Victim uses denial as a coping mechanism.
  • Victim will put up with almost anything to keep their family together.
Safety Planning

If you are in a violent relationship, whether you feel ready to leave or not, it is a good idea to develop a safety plan for your children and yourself.  You may never know when you may have to leave suddenly to protect your life and the lives of your children.

Preparing for an Explosive Situation
  • Try to avoid an abusive situation by leaving your home.  If you cannot escape, try to move towards a window so neighbors can hear the struggle or shouting.
  • Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and where there are accessible ways to escape.  Move to those areas if arguments occur.
  • Keep a cordless, cellular telephone, or text pager with you.  Call 911, a local domestic violence hotline, or a trusted friend/neighbor.  Memorize these emergency and hotline numbers or program them into the speed dial for easier use.
  • If you use a text pager, page a friend with a code word or signal to indicate an emergency so she/he can call 911 for you.
  • If you have difficulty with communication, use a cordless telephone call to 911.  Your call will be traced and assistance will normally be sent regardless of any verbal communication.
  • Consider a medical alert device, which can be worn at all times without suspicion, and used to call for help.
  • Identify trusted neighbors or friends that can provide you with assistance when you need it.  Let them know your situation and develop a plan and signal (visual cue or a code word) for when you need help.
  • Call a domestic violence hotline periodically to assess your options and ask them to assist you in developing a safety plan.
Getting Ready to Leave an Abusive Relationship
  • Be prepared.  Create a plan for how you will escape and practice it.
  • Know where you can go to get help that is accessible.  Contact domestic violence and other emergency organizations in your area and ask them about their accessibility.  Discuss your situation, your accommodation needs, and the ways they can help you when you are ready to leave.
  • Avoid using email, instant/text messaging (IM), or the internet to make or discuss plans to leave.  They are not safe or confidential ways to communicate.
  • If possible, call a hotline instead.
  • If you use email or IM, use a safer computer and an account your abuser or stalker does not know about.
  • Have a trusted friend or neighbor hold the following things for you or hide them in a safe place so you can leave quickly:
    • Money, keys
    • Copies of important documents (insurance, bank information, medical cards)
    • Extra clothes

Prosecutor’s Contact Info

1115 Albany Street
Caldwell, ID 83605

Phone: (208) 454-7391
Fax: (208) 454-7474
Civil Fax: (208) 455-5955

After Leaving an Abusive Relationship
  • Change your phone number, text pager number, or email address.  Get an unlisted number and consider getting Caller ID.
  • Change the locks of the doors and windows if your abuser, perpetrator or stalker has or may have a key.
  • Consider installing an alarming security system or motion sensitive lighting system that lights up when anyone comes onto your property.
  • Consider renting a post office box or use the address of a trusted friend for your mail.
  • Contact your doctor’s office and other important offices to change your contact information.  Instruct them to keep your information confidential.
  • Change the travel routes that you take to places you go to on a regular basis.
  • Change your schedule of routine activities.  Reschedule appointments that the abuser is aware of and tell the offices to keep the information about your appointments confidential.
  • Use different stores and socialize in different places that the abuser is unaware of.
  • Consider obtaining a Civil Protection order.
  • Keep a certified copy of your Protection order with you everywhere you go.
  • Notify trusted friends, neighbors and employers that you have a Civil Protection order in effect and give them an extra copy.
  • Contact a domestic violence advocate or attend a support group to support you in your healing process.
At Work
  • Tell someone about the abuse.
  • Make copies of your Civil Protection order for security officers, Human Resources and other people you trust.
  • Give a picture of the abuser to security officers.
  • Know the emergency contact information for your workplace.
  • Have someone screen your calls.
  • Transfer threatening calls to security.
  • Have security escort you to and from the parking lot or transportation area.
  • Keep yourself surrounded by people, if you are not comfortable alone.
  • Keep a record of any threatening activities as evidence of the abuse.
Safety Planning Tools

© 2010 Accessing Safety Initiative
ASI is a partnership between the Vera Institute of Justice external and the US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women external

Stages in a Victim's Experience

Minimization and Denial

In this stage the victim denies the seriousness of the situation and excuses the abuser.  “He doesn’t know his strength.  He was out of control/drunk/high.  It didn’t hurt that much.”

The abuser, who rarely gets beyond this stage, says: “It didn’t really hurt her much.  She made me angry or pushed my buttons.  I didn’t know what I was doing.  I was out of control/drunk/high.”


This is an inescapable feature of life with a batterer as well as being a recurring component in psychological reactions to trauma.

Seeking Help

Law enforcement and social service agencies most often see victims seeking help at the third or fourth stages of the Progression of Abuse.  A 1998 study by Dr. Edward Gondolf indicated that help-seeking behavior increases when the positive aspects of a relationship decrease and the cost, in terms of abusiveness and injury, increases.


The victim is irresolute at this stage, trying one alternative after another.  It is at this point that the victim may respond to the batterer’s attempts to reconcile, or initiate their own attempts at reconciliation.  It is the victim’s behavior during this stage which appears to cause the greatest frustration and anger to individuals in the helping professions, friends or family members.  Most often, these attempts at reconciliation do not work, but most, end in further abuse.

This stage can last for years as the victim slowly gets the strength and support from each voyage to the “outer world” to overcome the psychological restraints to move onto the final stage:

Living without Violence

Although a survivor of domestic abuse may live without violence after leaving an abusive relationship, she may well suffer from long-term depression and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome along with a host of other stress reactions to the violence from trauma she suffered.


The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
”The cycle of violence must be broken before today’s abused child becomes tomorrow’s abuser.”
-The Attorney General’s Task Force on Family Violence (1984)

Abusive or Aggressive Behavior: Research has indicated that violent behavior is learned.  The child tends to model the behavior of and/or identify with the parent’s methods for resolving conflict.  After observing abusive behavior, the child learns that hitting; slapping, etc. are effective and acceptable ways to resolve problems.  As a result, the child may grow up and adopt the learned behavior by abusing a spouse.

Passive, Withdrawn Behavior: The child witnessing violence in the home and identifying with the victim displays passive, withdrawn behavior.  Home is not a place of healthy relationships, and security, but a place of unpredictable danger.  The passive child has extreme difficulty asserting his/her needs and copes with the violence by withdrawal and isolation.  Girls tend to use indirect and passive forms of aggression to meet their goals and to emotionally hurt others (Feshbach and Feshbach, 1976) or they tend to turn the aggression inward toward themselves (Ross, 1980.)  The danger in this behavior is that the child, upon reaching adulthood still assumes a victim role in interpersonal relationships; thus, the cycle continues.

Role Reversal: Frequently in a violent family environment, the child will assume the responsibility of trying to stop or prevent the violence from occurring between the parents.  To accomplish this task, the child attempts to ”take care of” his/her parents by assuming a caretaker role with siblings and by assuming all of a major portion of household tasks.  The major damage in the role reversal is that the child usually feels guilty and inadequate; thus, the self-concept remains in its weakened state.

Chemical Dependency: The misuse of alcohol and/or drugs may be
a vehicle of escape from the violence and instability in the family.  This possibility increases if there is dependency on drugs and/or alcohol on the part of one or both parents.

School Problems:  There is a logical correlation between a child experiencing a violent home life and his or her behavior at school.  The behaviors may include physical aggression in resolving conflicts with peers, academic underachievement, difficulties and frustration in concentrating, and truancy.  The truancy can be intensified when running away from home appears to be less frightening than going home.

Guilt:  As with the role reversal effect, the child does not feel worthy or adequate in the parent(s) eyes and may even feel responsible for the violent outbursts.  Older children may feel guilty if they weren’t able to stop or prevent it from occurring.

Weak or Unhealthy Interpersonal Skills:  It may be difficult for these victims to have healthy, intimate relationships as adults.  They may have difficulties in communicating feelings and resolving conflicts and may have unrealistic expectations of other people.  As a result of the victimization in the formative years, healthy development of trust, nurturing, autonomy, etc. may be undeveloped.

Physical and/or Sexual injury:  The child may be directly abused either physically or sexually (or both) as a result of the parent’s abusive behaviors.

Distorted Problem-Solving Skill Development: Children develop methods of dealing with everyday problems in the formative years by observing the interaction and skills of parents or guardians.  Since violence and abuse are learned behaviors, the child will most likely continue the cycle as an adult, lacking appropriate problem-solving skills.

Violence Continuums

A violence continuum describes the progression of abuse:


  • Sexual jokes or demeaning gender remarks
  • Jealousy, assumes you are/will be with others sexually
  • Unwanted touching
  • Criticism of sexuality
  • Name calling with sexual epithets
  • Forced to look at/engage in pornography
  • Demanding monogamy from victim despite promiscuous behavior by the batterer
  • Coercive/demanding sex (use of threats)
  • Humiliation
  • Forceful sex (rape)
  • Force, uncomfortable sex
  • Sex after beating
  • Sex resulting in permanent injury
  • Rape with imprisonment
  • Rape with murder


  • Refusal to meet physical needs
  • Push, shove
  • Choke, beat
  • Jerk, slap, bite, pinch
  • Shake
  • Bruising
  • Withholding sex and affections
  • Hit, punch, kick
  • Targeted hitting
  • Repeated hitting
  • Use of objects as weapons
  • Throwing victim
  • Restraining while hitting or punching
  • Abuse during pregnancy
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Lacerations, broken bones, internal injuries
  • Use of weapons (guns, knives, blunt instruments)
  • Disabling or disfiguring
  • Joking and insults
  • Ignoring or minimizing feelings
  • Withholds approval and emotional support as punishment
  • Yelling, name calling
  • Repeated insults, degrading
  • Targeted insults or labeling
  • Belittling and private humiliation
  • Public humiliation
  • Blaming and accusing
  • Demands all attention
  • Questions sense of reality
  • Resentful of children or marriage
  • Threats against children or marriage
  • Degrading role as mate, lover or partner
  • Giving mixed signals
  • Lack of cause and effect
  • Depression
  • Nervous breakdown
  • Mental illness
  • Complete isolation/withdrawn
  • Suicide by victim
Who Are the Victims of Domestic Violence?

Who Are the Victims of Domestic Violence? external

By Toby D. Goldsmith, MD

Domestic violence can happen in any relationship, regardless of ethnic group, income level, religion, education or sexual orientation. Abuse may occur between a married people, or between an unmarried people living together or in a dating relationship. It happens in heterosexual, gay and lesbian relationships.

However, researchers have found that some people are more likely to become the victims of domestic violence. A likely victim:

  • Has poor self-image.
  • Puts up with abusive behavior.
  • Is economically and emotionally dependent on the abuser.
  • Is uncertain of his or her own needs.
  • Has low self-esteem.
  • Has unrealistic belief that he or she can change the abuser.
  • Feels powerless to stop violence.
  • Believes that jealousy is proof of love.

While abuse can happen to anyone, women external are by far the most frequent victims and men are the most frequent abusers. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 95 percent of the assaults on partners or spouses are committed by men against women.

Again, the victims often have some common characteristics. Women who are victims of domestic violence often:

  • Abuse alcohol or other substances.
  • Have been previously abused.
  • Are pregnant.
  • Are poor and have limited support.
  • Have partners who abuse alcohol or other substances.
  • Have left their abuser.
  • Have requested a restraining order against the abuser.
  • Are members of ethnic minority or immigrant groups.
  • Have traditional beliefs that women should be submissive to men.
  • Do not speak English.
APA Reference
Goldsmith, T. (2006). Who Are the Victims of Domestic Violence?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 2, 2012, from external
Civil Protection Orders

A protection order is a court order for a person to stop hurting you or threatening to hurt you.

Who qualifies?
The law protects spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who live or have lived together and persons who have had a child in common, regardless if they have been married or not.  This also applies to a dating relationship.

Where to obtain a Protection Order:
Canyon County Courthouse
2nd Floor, Civil Clerks Office, Room 201
1115 Albany, Caldwell, ID  83605

When to obtain a Protection Order:
Monday thru Friday before noon.  (Petition must be completed and turned in to the Clerk’s Office by noon)

  • There is no cost or filing fee when you request a Protection Order.
  • In order to obtain a Civil Protection Order, there has to have been a recent threat of violence.
  • A Judge will see you and MAY issue a temporary Protection Order and set a hearing date within 14 days to decide whether to issue a full 90 day Protection Order.  You must attend this hearing.

Domestic Violence Orientation:
People filing for a Protection Order will be ordered to attend a Domestic Violence Orientation.  This class is an overview of domestic violence and protection orders which provides information to the petitioner in order to assist them through the process.

When:  Every Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. and Thursday from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where:  Canyon County Courthouse, 3rd floor, Room 320

*Protection orders may be renewed for up to one year.  Modifications may be filed at any time.  This is done at the Canyon County Courthouse – Civil Clerk’s Office.

Idaho Laws

Idaho Code Sections for Domestic Violence & Domestic Violence Related Crimes

18-918. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. (1) For the purpose of this section:
(a)  “Household member” means a person who is a spouse, former spouse, or a person who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or a person with whom a person is cohabiting, whether or not they have married or have held themselves out to be husband or wife.
(b)  “Traumatic injury” means a condition of the body, such as a wound or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by physical force.
(2)(b)  A conviction of felony domestic battery is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term not to exceed ten (10) years or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or by both fine and imprisonment.

18-923.  ATTEMPTED STRANGULATION. (1) Any person who chokes or attempts to strangle a household member by willful and unlawful application of pressure to the neck or throat is guilty of a felony punishable by incarceration for up to twenty (20) years in the state prison.
(2) No injuries are required to prove attempted strangulation.
(3) “Willful,”  as  used in this section, means only that the application of pressure to the neck or throat is intentional.  The prosecution is not required to show that the defendant intended to kill or injure the victim. The only intent required is the intent to choke or attempt to strangle.
(4)  As  used in this section, “household member” assumes the same definition as set forth in section 18-918(1)(a), Idaho Code.

No Contact Orders

A no contact order is ordered by a Judge during the first court hearing (arraignment) after a suspect has been arrested for a crime involving a victim.  The Court will issue the No Contact Order regardless of whether the victim wants the order in place.

The Order instructs the offender to have no contact with the victim either in person, in writing, through a third person, by email, by fax, by internet or by phone.

Violation of a no contact order may be charged with a separate crime (Idaho Code 18-920 external) for which no bail will be set until an appearance before a Judge.

The No Contact Order can only be issued, modified or terminated by a Judge.

The No Contact Order will be in place until further order by the Judge.

The victim must complete 5 weeks of Positive Safety Planning Classes.  These classes are once a week for 5 weeks and are free.  The victim witness coordinator must provide a referral for the victim to attend the classes.  After completion of the classes, the victim of the criminal offense may request modification or termination of a no contact order by filing out a written and signed request with the Clerk of the Court.  Completion of the class is not a guarantee the No Contact Order will be terminated or modified.  

If you would like a referral to the Positive Safety Planning Classes, please contact your Victim Witness Coordinator.

Signs to Look for in a Battering Personality
  • Partner is overly possessive and extremely jealous.  May accuse you of flirting, call to check on you often and insist on knowing where you are or where you are going.
  • Partner is overly critical, finding fault with your dress, talent and conduct.
  • Partner has poor communication skills and refuses or is unable to settle differences with words.
  • Partner may show little concern for your wishes and will use sulking and anger to manipulate compliance.
  • Partner believes in rigid gender roles. For instances, a male abuser will see women as inferior to men, responsible for menial tasks, stupid and unable to be a whole person without a relationship.
  • Partner seems to lack their own interests and is overly dependent on the relationship.
  • Partner tries to sabotage your work or school efforts, possibly forcing or convincing you to quit against your wishes.
  • Partner uses “playful” force in sex, including restraining you against your will during sex, acting out fantasies in which you are helpless, initiating sex when you are asleep or demanding sex when you are ill or tired.
  • Partner’s abuse increases with the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Partner discourages your own outside interests and friendships and attempts to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Partner has blocked access to your vehicle, work or telephone service.
  • Partner may have unrealistic expectations, expecting you to take care of all needs, physically, emotionally and domestically.
  • Partner may be cruel to animals or children, punishing them brutally or being insensitive to their pain.
  • Partner is controlling over the money decisions.
  • Partner may have a past history as an abuser. An abuser will beat ANY partner they are with if they are involved long enough for the cycle of violence to begin.


Stages of Domestic Violence

Cycle Violent 7Domestic violence may seem unpredictable, simply an outburst related just to the moment and to the circumstances in the lives of the people involved.  In fact, however, domestic violence follows a typical pattern no matter when it occurs or who is involved.  The pattern, or cycle, repeats; each time the level of his violence may increase.  At every stage in the cycle, the abuser is fully in control of himself and is working to control and further isolate his victim.

Understanding the cycle of violence and the thinking of the abuser helps survivors recognize they truly are not to blame for the violence they have suffered and that the abuser is the one responsible.

Six distinct stages make up the cycle of violence: the set-up, the abuse, the abuser’s feelings of “guilt” and his fear of reprisal, his rationalization, his shift to non-abusive and charming behavior, and his fantasies and plans for the next time he will abuse.


Abuse can be emotional, physical, sexual, psychological, economic and social.


A non-abusive person experiences guilt very differently than an abusive person.  A non-abusive person feels guilty about how they have impacted the life of the person they harmed (victim-directed guilt).  An abuser experiences self-directed guilt.  He does not feel guilty or sorry for hurting his victim.  He may apologize for his behavior, but his apology is designed so that he will not face consequences or be held accountable.  The goal of the guilt stage is to reassure himself that he will not be caught or face consequences.


The abuser makes excuses and blames the victim for his behavior.  Common excuses usually revolve around the abuser being intoxicated or abused as a child.  However, alcohol use and being abused as a child does not cause the abuser to be violent.  Common victim blaming statements usually focus on the victim’s behavior.  For example, “If you had the house cleaned, I wouldn’t have had to hit you,” or, “If you had cooked dinner on time, I wouldn’t have had to hit you.” The goal of this stage is to abdicate responsibility for his behavior.

“Normal” Behavior

During this stage, the abuser may use different tactics to achieve his goal to regain power over the victim.  The abuser may act as though nothing happened – everything is normal.  This can be crazy making for victims, as they do not understand how he could pretend nothing happened.

If the victim has visible injuries, she will have to explain how she got them.  This is designed to maintain the normalcy of the relationship.  The goal of this stage is to keep the victim in the relationship and present the relationship as normal.

Another tactic an abuser may use after he has chosen to be violent is to become the thoughtful, charming, loyal, and kind person with whom the victim fell in love.  He may take her out to dinner, buy her flowers and convince her he will change. This can be a huge incentive for women to stay or return to the abuser because they believe that this time he really will change.

Fantasy and Planning

Abuse is planned.  In the initial stages, an abuser fantasizes or has a mental picture of the next time he will abuse the victim.  During the fantasy and planning stage, the abuser is the actor, producer, director and the star.

The abuser experiences his power from activating the fantasy.  The planning phase details more specifically what the abuser will need to have and to do in order to abuse his partner.

Abusers may spend minutes, hours or days fantasizing about what the victim has done “wrong” and how he is going to make her “pay”.  Most often he will fantasize she is having an affair.  Most abused women do not have the time, energy, or interest in having an affair.  However, it is the most common accusation, because she can never prove she is not having an affair.


This is when the abuser puts his plan into action.  He sets the victim up.

The Full Cycle

Here is an example of the cycle of violence through all its phases.

A man abuses his partner. After he hits her, he experiences self-directed guilt.  He says, “I’m sorry for hurting you.”  What he does not say is, “Because I might get caught.”

He then rationalizes his behavior by saying that his partner is having an affair with someone.  He tells her “If you weren’t such a worthless whore I wouldn’t have to hit you.”  He then acts contrite, reassuring her that he will not hurt her again.

He then fantasizes and reflects on past abuse and how he will hurt her again.  He plans on telling her to go to the store to get some groceries.  What he withholds from her is that she has a certain amount of time to do the shopping.  When she is held up in traffic and is a few minutes’ late, he feels completely justified in assaulting her because “you’re having an affair with the store clerk.”

He has just set her up.

Verbal & Emotional Abuse

How many of these things has your partner done?

  • Ignores partners feelings
  • Ridicules or insults women as a group
  • Ridicules or insults partners most valued beliefs, religion, race, heritage or class
  • Withholds approval, appreciation or affection as a punishment
  • Continually criticizes, calls names, or shouts at partner
  • Humiliates partner in private or public
  • Refuses to socialize with partner
  • Keeps partner from working, controls the money, makes all the decisions
  • Refuses to work or share money
  • Takes car keys or money away from partner
  • Regularly threatens to leave or tells partner to leave
  • Threatens to hurt partner or their family
  • Abuses, tortures or kills pets to hurt partner
  • Harasses or imagines partner is having an affair
  • Manipulates partner with lies and contradictions
  • Destroys furniture, punches holes in walls, breaks appliances
  • Wields guns in a threatening way



What is Abuse?
  • Name calling
  • Checks on me/follows me
  • Tries to control me
  • Threatens to kill me
  • Causes visible injuries
  • Restrains me
  • Throws things at me
  • Hits me with an object
  • Hits me with a hand or fist
  • Strangles me
  • Punches or kicks me
  • Pushes, grabs or shoves me
  • Threatens me with a weapon
  • Tells me I can’t ever make it on my own
  • Tells me no one will ever want me
  • Blames me for the abusive behavior
  • Destroys things in the house
  • Threatens to kill self if I don’t do what the abuser wants
  • Threatens to harm someone or something I care about

If your abuser has done only a few of these, you may think that your situation is not so bad.  Please remember that all of the behaviors on the checklist above are abuse.  Abuse tends to get worse over time.

Canyon County Victim Witness Unit

Office: 454-7391
Fax: 454-7474

Denise Himes (Unit Supervisor)
Christina Garcia (Spanish-speaking)
Jackie Smith
Teresa Sanchez(Spanish-speaking)
Loretta Stadler
Joana Torres-Fonseca (Spanish-speaking)


1115 Albany St
Caldwell, ID 83605


Phone / Fax

P 208-454-7391
F 208-454-7474



Weekdays 8am - 5pm
(excluding holidays)