What is Domestic Violence?

We define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in an intimate partner relationship used by one person to gain or maintain power or control over their partner.

This includes any action that makes the victim feel unsafe, including verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse.  Being free of domestic violence is a basic human right. DVP assists all individuals irrespective of their race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, socioeconomic status or otherwise.

FAQs about Domestic Violence

Q. Why does the victim stay?

A better question to ask is “why does the abuser choose to abuse?” Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult for many reasons.  The most dangerous time for a victim is the point when the victim leaves or severs the relationship.  Victims are often made to think they cannot survive on their own, either financially or otherwise.  In many cases, finance abuse renders it nearly impossible for the victim to leave the abuser with little options or resources.  Children and immigration status are also major factors in a person’s decision to endure the abuse among a myriad of other reasons.

Q. How prevalent is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is an issue across all communities. It affects all types of people, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their life. Every day, at least 3 women and 1 man are murdered by their intimate partner in the USA.

Q. What can I do for a victim of domestic violence?

  • Listen to the victim
  • Remind him or her that the abuse is not their fault
  • Let him or her know that domestic violence can escalate in frequency or severity over time
  • Help him or her seek expert assistance by giving them a number for a DV hotline (718) 875-5062
  • Don’t get discouraged and be patient

Q. What is “financial abuse”? 

Financial abuse can be as subtle as telling a partner what they can and cannot buy, and as overt as complete control over a partner’s bank account or monetary assets. Common forms of financial abuse include:

  • Giving their partner an allowance
  • Maxing out their partner’s credit card
  • Using their partner’s funds without their permission
  • Limiting the hours their partner works
  • Sharing their home without paying their share of expenses
  • Refusing to give their partner food, money, clothing, rent, or medicine

Q. How does the economy affect domestic violence?

  • Extreme jealous or controlling behavior
  • Criticizing their partner’s actions and putting them down
  • Displaying destructive behavior
  • Attempts to isolate their partner from his or her family and friends
  • Limiting their partner’s access to money, the phone, or the car

Studies have shown that a poor economic climate increase levels of domestic violence. Job loss or poverty can lead to more stress at home, which can in turn lead to more abuse. A poor economic climate also affects funding for DV support services, many of which are non-profit, so as the demand for these services increase, resources decrease.


We proudly serve all survivors of domestic violence, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or immigration status.

Legal Clinic Schedule

Contact Domestic Violence Project

We welcome your questions and comments

Main Office

40 Rector St., 9th Floor
New York, NY 10006

Intake line: 1-833-321-4387

Email: dvp@urbanjustice.org


M-F: 9:00AM-5:00PM

By appointment only.