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Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local police agency.

How to Recognize Domestic Violence

Healthy relationships should be characterized by freedom, safety and equality. Domestic violence can occur in intimate relationships from all walks of life. The most common victims of domestic violence are women and their children.

Many times it is difficult to tell if your relationship is abusive. Domestic violence results from an abuse of power.

As defined by the Oregon Governor's Council on Domestic Violence, it is "a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person to control and subordinate another in an intimate relationship. These behaviors include physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse."

When the abuser learns that violence is an effective way of gaining control, his/her actions may intensify. Domestic abuse may begin with domination and control, but can escalate to assault, rape and even murder.

Domestic Violence and Guns

Some domestic violence offenders, or those who are subject to contested restraining orders, are breaking the law by possessing firearms. Access to firearms or guns significantly increases the risk for lethal or near lethal violence occurring in a domestic violence situation.

Local Domestic Violence Statistics

Domestic Violence is a serious issue in Oregon.

  • Police records indicate that 40% of all violent crimes reported in Portland involve domestic violence, with 15 to 20 calls made to police each day.
  • The level of domestic violence in Oregon has remained constant, despite an overall decline in violent or serious crimes.
  • Domestic violence incidents accounted for 23% or all aggravated assaults in Portland and 35% of all homicides in the tri-county area since 1976.
  • The leading cause of homelessness among women and children is domestic violence.

Did you know?

  • Each year, four million domestic violence assaults occur nationally.
  • One out of every three women will be assaulted by her partner or date during her lifetime.
  • Even if children are not the intended partner, abusers have a negative impact on their children, by their domination and controlling tactics and their physical or sexual assault of the children's mother.
Updated July 7, 2016