Become a Member
Interactive Tools
Filter by Demographic
Children Adolescents Adults
Filter by Topic
Anger Anxiety Art CBT Communication DBT Depression Education Emotions Goals Grief Parenting and Behavior Positive Psychology Relationships Relaxation Self-Esteem Stress Substance Use Values

What is Domestic Abuse?

Abuse between romantic partners—known as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence—takes many forms. It can be overt, as in physical violence, or subtle, such as controlling a partner through emotional, financial, or other forms of manipulation. Education about abuse is an important first step for victims seeking help, or for those who are unaware they are in an abusive relationship.

The What is Domestic Abuse? handout provides an overview of abuse, including common reactions to abuse, reasons why people stay in abusive relationships, and other helpful information. This worksheet can be used to provide basic education and to help victims see they are not alone.

We suggest accompanying this worksheet with the Types of Abuse handout, which describes the various forms that abuse can take.

Standard Download

Download Free Worksheet

Alternate languages: Spanish
Premium Download
What is Domestic Abuse? Preview

1. Abuse Defined. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2. Eshelman, L., & Levendosky, A. A. (2012). Dating violence: Mental health consequences based on type of abuse. Violence and victims, 27(2), 215-228.

3. Mechanic, M. B., Weaver, T. L., & Resick, P. A. (2008). Mental health consequences of intimate partner abuse: A multidimensional assessment of four different forms of abuse. Violence against women, 14(6), 634-654.

4. NCADV: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Retrieved from abuse. Violence and victims, 27(2), 215-228.

5. Preventing Intimate Partner Violence | Violence Prevention | Injury Center | CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from

6. Thompson, R. S., Bonomi, A. E., Anderson, M., Reid, R. J., Dimer, J. A., Carrell, D., & Rivara, F. P. (2006). Intimate partner violence: Prevalence, types, and chronicity in adult women. American journal of preventive medicine, 30(6), 447-457.

loading animation