About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used by one partner in a relationship to gain power and control over the other partner. Domestic violence includes acts or threats of physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, and financial harm. Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic background. 

Get Help with Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline

  • 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Domestic Violence Laws and Bills

Congress has passed two major laws related to violence against women.

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
    The first major law passed to help government agencies and victim advocates collaborate together on ending domestic violence, sexual assault, and other kinds of violence against women. VAWA created new penalties for specific crimes and initiated programs to help survivors and prevent future violence.
  • Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)
    FVPSA provides federal funding to domestic violence victims as well as their children and dependents for shelter and related services. In addition to violence prevention activities, it also helps agencies best serve their communities through collaboration.