Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence/abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship.

Power and Control video


It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.

In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.

Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partner.

Some of the signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who:

  • Tells you that you can never do anything right

  • Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away

  • Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members

  • Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs

  • Controls every penny spent in the household

  • Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses

  • Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you

  • Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do

  • Prevents you from making your own decisions

  • Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children

  • Prevents you from working or attending school

  • Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets

  • Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons

  • Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with

  • Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol

***All information provided on Domestic Violence was found through the National Domestic Violence Hotline***


The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:

  • Attempted rape

  • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching

  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body

  • Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape

SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) – Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center (DVRCC) along with Central Dakota Forensic Nurse Examiners and Law Enforcement offer comprehensive services for victims of sexual assault.

What this means for victims: Traditionally a victim of sexual assault would have to share their story over and over again. This would include telling their story to advocates, law enforcement, medical, and prosecution-all in different settings. The SART team eliminates the need for a victim to tell their story over and over again. During an initial response, a victim is met by a law enforcement detective, advocate and a forensic nurse examiner. A victim is given his/her rights, an opportunity to share their story in a safe location and obtain medical attention. All of the services provided during a SART response are free and optional. A victim can choose to participate in as much or as little of the process that they feel comfortable doing.

***Information taken from RAINN.org***

Transgender & Sexual Assault

Almost half of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, and these rates are even higher for trans people of color and those who have done sex work, been homeless, or have a disability.


Teen Dating Violence

Dating abuse is a big problem, affecting youth in every community across the nation. Learn the facts below:

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year
  • Violent behavior often begins between the ages of 12 and 18
  • Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive partners
  • One in six college women have been sexually abused in a dating relationship
  • Only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about the abuse
  • 81% of parents belie teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.

Ways to get help:

  • Contact your local domestic violence center
  • Contact local law enforcement
  • Call a crisis line



Human trafficking as defined by the Department of Justice is: “Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons or modern-day slavery, is a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological. Exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking, regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used.”

North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force

NDHTTF provides insight, guidance and resources for victims of trafficking, as well as resources for supportive agencies.