Love Doesn't Hurt

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone at any time. Abuse is physical, financial or emotional hurt and harm within what is supposed to be a loving relationship.

Domestic violence and abuse happens between husbands and wives (also called spousal abuse), parents and children, and domestic partners. The problem is often overlooked, denied or excused. You should not live in fear of someone you love. Admitting that there is fear is the first step to ending domestic violence and abuse.

Signs of Domestic Violence and Abuse

There are many signs of domestic violence and abuse. The most important sign is the feeling of fear. If you are “on your guard” around your partner/spouse, being careful of what you say, how you say it, what you do, in order to avoid a “blow up,” then you may be in an abusive relationship. Signs of abuse include:

  • Criticizing, threats or blaming you often
  • Throwing things at you or breaking things in anger
  • Hitting, kicking, slapping or shoving you
  • Trying to control what you do
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Jealousy or short tempered

The Cycle of Abuse

There is a common pattern or cycle to abuse and domestic violence:

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The abuser lashes out by threats, hitting, belittling comments. The desire is to be in power and control.

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The abuser feels guilty for what was said or done and may feel afraid of being caught.

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The abuser provides a string of reasons for the abuse.

Normal Behavior
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The abuser acts as if nothing has happened. This is sometimes referred as the honeymoon stage.

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The abuser begins thinking about abusing again.

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The abuser finds a reason to abuse again.

What to Do if You Live in Fear

If you live in fear, you are not alone. You can get free help, shelter, and legal advice. Without outside help, abuse tends to get worse. You will receive help in making a safety plan for you and your children. There is also help for the abuser. Relationships don't have to hurt!

These organizations can help:

For Free Legal Advice call:
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Family Justice Center 510-267-8800
If you speak English call:
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S.A.V.E. (Fremont) 510-794-6055
Tri-Valley Haven (Livermore) 1-800-884-8119
Women Inc. 1-877-384-3578
Aasra -South Asian- (Fremont) 510-657-1245
Narika -South Asian- (Berkeley) 1-800-215-7308
Building Futures with Women and Children 1-866-292-9688
A Safe Place 510-536-7233
Asian Women's Shelter (SF) 1-877-751-0880
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE
If you speak Spanish Call:
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Women Inc. 1-877-384-3578
Tri-Valley Haven (Livermore) 1-800-884-8119
A Safe Place 510-536-7233
Stand Against Domestic Violence 1-888-215-5555
If you speak Cantonese call:
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Asian Women's Shelter (SF) 415-751-0880
Asian Women's Home (San Jose) 408-975-2739
Cameron House (SF) 415-781-0401
Asian Comm. MHS (Oakland) 510-451-6729
If you speak Vietnamese call:
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Asian Women's Shelter 415-751-0880
Asian Women's Home (San Jose) 408-975-2739
Cameron House (SF) 415-781-8879

Other Links

National Health Information Center (Health Finder) click on “D,” then select “Domestic Violence.”