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About Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is about power and control. It is a pattern of behavior where someone manipulates or hurts their relationship partner and often escalates over time. The physical and emotional harm from abuse causes a ripple effect that can hurt friends, family and children as well.

Domestic Abuse doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can be impacted by domestic abuse regardless of gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religion, education, or socioeconomic background.


There are many types of domestic abuse, including:

Emotional/Verbal Abuse: Using threats, intimidation, mean and humiliating comments; blaming and shaming; isolating the victim from friends and family; gaslighting (manipulating the victim into questioning their own sanity); or brainwashing (manipulating the victim into changing their beliefs against their will).


Financial Abuse: Controlling access to money or information about finances; not allowing the partner to get a job; or controlling spending on household necessities such as food, rent, monthly bills, and school tuition.


Digital or Technology Abuse: Using email, cell phones, text messages, social media , GPS tracking or “smart home” devices, computer spyware, or webcams to harass, control, or embarrass the victim.


Physical Abuse: Hitting, shoving, kicking, biting, slapping, or choking; damaging the partner’s personal property or pets; or hiding/withholding necessities such as food, medication, sleep, or transportation.


Sexual Abuse: Forcing the survivor into sexual activities against their will; bragging about or flaunting extramarital affairs (cheating); trying to guilt you into sex, refusing to use birth control, asking for sex repeatedly or withholding sex or affection.


Spiritual Abuse: Undermining the survivor’s religious needs and spiritual beliefs, using religious texts to give commands or punishment, isolating from faith community, or blaming for not being religious enough.


These are just a few examples of the different types of abuse. It all comes back to the dynamics of power and control. For detailed information about abusive relationships, click on your topic of choice below.

Understanding Abuse


What Kind of Relationship is it?

All relationships fall somewhere on a spectrum from healthy to unhealthy to abusive. Not sure where yours falls? Review these characteristics.


What is Domestic Abuse?

There are many types of domestic abuse, and it can happen to people of all races, religions, cultures, and backgrounds. Learn the signs.


Am I in an Abusive Relationship?

Do any of these issues sound familiar? If so, SHALVA can help.


Those Who Abuse

Those who abuse can look like anyone: they can be of any background, age, race, gender, and culture. But there are common traits in how they act.


What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is different from the emotional moments all couples face at one time or another. Find out why, and how to spot it.


Technology Safety Tips

Learn how to keep yourself safe when using technology.


Tips for Staying Safe

What is a safety plan and why do I need one?

For Concerned Friends and Family

person with laptop

Worried That Someone is Being Abused?

Videos featured on our Show You CARE interactive tool to show how you can help.


Finding the Right Words

When a friend is experiencing domestic abuse, it's hard to know what to say. These phrases can help.


When you Think Someone Needs Help

Are you concerned that someone you care about is in an abusive relationship? Here’s how to help, and what to avoid.

For Rabbis and Congregations


10 Things Congregants Can Do

“In the Torah there can be no compromise on human dignity.” Find out what you and your congregation can do today to help end domestic abuse.


A Call to Action

Domestic abuse violates the cherished principles of Jewish tradition and law. Here’s what rabbis and cantors can do to lead your community.


What to do When Someone Confides in You

Domestic abuse is not just a woman’s issue: it is a community issue, and Rabbis can play an important role in stopping it.


Passover Resources on IPV

Remember survivors of domestic abuse as you celebrate the Jewish journey to freedom.

Local Resources


Social Service Agencies & Support Services

SHALVA is one of many community resources available for those in need. Please see the following for help with crisis, shelter, legal issues, financial issues, and sexual abuse.