Get Educated

DAP First Call

612.874.7063 | 9:00am-5:00pm Monday-Thursday, 9:00am-4:00pm Friday

DAP First Call is a resource for you. First Call is staffed by therapists, interns, and volunteers who are trained to assist you. They’re experts in our programs and can help you sign up for a group or find the services you’re looking for. If DAP doesn’t offer it, we can help you find someone who does!

If this is an emergency, call 9-1-1. If you are in crisis, call the Minnesota statewide domestic violence hotline, DayOne, at 1-866-223-1111.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a learned and chosen pattern of hurtful behavior used to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It sometimes erupts in physical abuse, but that’s not the whole of it. Domestic violence also includes psychological, emotional, technological, sexual, and financial abuse.

It can be helpful to think of domestic violence in these categories, but it’s important to remember that abusive behavior is very complex and doesn’t always fit neatly into these boxes.

Physical abuse 

Forceful or violent physical behavior. This form of abuse is often what comes to mind when we think of domestic violence.

    • any kind of injury with a weapon
    • hitting, slapping, or punching
    • choking
    • burning
    • pushing or restraining
    • scratching
    • grabbing
    • spitting on or biting
    • kicking
    • throwing an object at someone else

Sexual abuse 

Any non-consensual sexual act or behavior. Forcing someone to have sex when they don’t want to, are unable to consent (because they’re drunk or high or asleep, for example), or afraid to say no is all abusive behavior.

    • insisting that you dress in a certain way or making demeaning remarks about how you dress
    • making demeaning remarks about your body and/or body parts
    • minimizing your feelings about sex
    • berating you about your sexual history or blaming you for sexual abuse
    • insisting on touching you sexually when you do not want to be touched, either when the two of you are alone or in the presence of others
    • calling you sexualized names, like “whore” or “slut”
    • forcing you to perform any specific sexual act that you do not wish to do

Emotional abuse 

Harder to pin down or prove, but just as destructive as other, more obvious forms of violence. We consider it domestic abuse if a person makes cruel, unfair comments or otherwise emotionally attacks their partner in order to gain power or control over that person.

    • swearing or screaming at you
    • harassing, interrogating, or degrading you repeatedly
    • attacking your self-esteem or insulting you, such as name-calling, put-downs, and ridicule
    • attacking or insulting people you care for, like your family and friends
    • blaming you for everything that goes wrong
    • forcing you to do degrading things, like making you kneel or making you beg for money
    • criticizing your thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs, and actions
    • being extremely jealous
    • telling you that you are “sick” or “crazy” and need therapy
    • using physical disabilities against you or putting you down for your disability

Psychological abuse 

Any threat to do bodily harm to a partner, a child, a family member, friends, pets, or oneself.  Psychological abuse involves not only hurt and anger but also fear and degradation.

  • threatening to hurt you
  • threatening to harm himself/herself to punish you
  • threatening to hurt your children, pets, family members, or friends
  • making vague threats
  • breaking or throwing things
  • punching walls and slamming doors
  • hiding, stealing, or destroying your possessions
  • controlling your behavior, like keeping you from seeing friends, following you, or monitoring your phone conversations
  • using money to control you, like taking money from you or forcing you to ask for money