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New Directions|212 N Main St., Mount Vernon, OH 43050|(740) 397-4357

The Facts of Domestic Violence

Often including a threat of physical violence, domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power over another party — which can be a romantic partner, child, extended family member, or entire household. Through fear tactics and intimidation, an abuser seeks to gain total control over their victim(s).

Domestic violence affects the entire household in which it occurs. Over half of female victims live in households with children under the age of 12. These children can have lasting psychological damage from witnessing acts of violence, as well as:

  • witnessing the act of forcible rape of an adult parent
  • witnessing the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of a sibling
  • overhearing some form of violent threat or abusive act
  • seeing the results of assaults (bruises, torn clothes, broken furniture, etc.)
  • being court ordered to visit with the adult perpetrator without adequate emotional safeguards or supervised visitation
  • being emotionally neglected
  • witnessing the abuse of a pet
  • suffering isolation
  • engaging the child in abuse of the parent, other children, or pets
  • hearing constant threats
  • being held hostage
  • being subject to interrogation about the abused partner’s activities

Possible Effects of Falling Victim to or Witnessing Domestic Violence

  • anxiety
  • low self-esteem
  • depression
  • shyness
  • suicide attempts
  • withdrawal
  • trauma/stress reactions
  • aggression
  • feelings of loss, anger, sadness, & confusion
  • self-blame
  • physical problems
  • school problems
  • social incompetence
  • low empathy
  • acceptance/legitimization
  • poor problem-solving, nonviolent resolution, & conflict resolution skills
  • poor cognition
  • externalizing behavior problems
  • alcohol & drug use
  • anxiety
  • low self-esteem
  • depression
  • shyness
  • suicide attempts
  • withdrawal
  • trauma/stress reactions
  • aggression
  • feelings of loss, anger, sadness, & confusion
  • self-blame
  • physical problems
  • school problems
  • social incompetence
  • low empathy
  • acceptance/legitimization
  • poor problem-solving, nonviolent resolution, & conflict resolution skills
  • poor cognition
  • externalizing behavior problems
  • lcohol & drug use

The Facts of Intimate Partner Violence

An abusive relationship is one that is never deserved, but unfortunately, many individuals suffer abuse at the hands of a close partner. New Directions has prepared a list of red flags and discovery questions to ask yourself if you suspect a partner is abusive towards you or other loved ones. Please use the questions below to explore your current situation:

Are you in a relationship in which you have been physically hurt or threatened by your partner?
Are you in a relationship in which you felt you were treated badly? In what ways?
Has your partner ever destroyed things that you care about?
Has your partner ever threatened or abused your children?
Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didn’t want to?
What happens when you and your partner disagree?
Do you ever feel afraid of your partner?
Has your partner ever prevented you from leaving the house, seeing friends, getting a job, or continuing your education?
If your partner uses drugs/alcohol, how does s/he act?
Is s/he ever verbally or physically abusive?
Do you have guns in your home? Has your partner ever threatened to use them when s/he was angry?

Red Flags of Abusive Relationships


  • wants to be with you constantly
  • accuses you of cheating all the time
  • follows you around or frequently calls during the day
  • odd behaviors, like checking your car mileage or asking friends to check in on you

Controlling Behavior

  • pretends to be concerned for your safety or your productive use of time
  • acts like you do not have the ability to make good decisions
  • becomes extremely angry when late
  • constantly questions who you spend your time with, what you did/wore/said, and where you went
  • makes you ask permission to do certain things

Quick Involvement

  • 6 months or less before living together/engaged
  • claims of love at first sight
  • says you are the only one who can make her/him feel this way
  • pressure for commitment

Unrealistic Expectations

  • compliments you in a way that makes you seem superhuman
  • very dependent for all needs
  • expects you to be perfect
  • says things like, "i am all you need," and "you are all i need."


  • tries to cut off all your resources
  • puts down everyone you know
  • friends are either stupid, slutty, or you are cheating with them
  • family is too controlling, don’t really love you, or you are too dependent on them
  • refuses to let you use car or talk on the phone
  • makes it difficult for you to go to school or work

Blames Others for Problems

  • if there are problems at school or work, it is always someone else’s fault
  • you’re at fault for everything that goes wrong in the relationship

Blames Others for Feelings

  • makes you responsible for how they feel:
       "you made me mad"
       "you’re hurting me by not doing what i ask"
       "i can’t help being angry"
       "you make me happy"
       "you control how i feel"

Disrespectful or Cruel to Others

  • punishes children/animals cruelly
  • insensitive to pain and suffering
  • high expectations of children beyond their abilities
  • teases children or younger siblings until they cry
  • doesn’t treat other people with respect 

Playful Use of Force During Sex

  • little concern over whether you want to have sex or not
  • uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance
  • makes sexual or degrading jokes about you

Rigid Sex Roles

  • believes women are inferior to men
  • unable to be a whole person without a relationship

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

  • sudden mood changes – like s/he has two different personalities
  • one minute nice, the next minute exploding
  • one minute happy, the next minute sad

Past Battering

  • you may hear the person was abusive to someone else they were in a relationship with
  • the person may deny it, claiming their ex is crazy or it wasn’t that bad

Breaking or Striking Objects

  • used as punishment
  • breaks cherished possessions
  • may beat on tables with fists
  • throws objects at, around, or near you

Any Force During an Argument

  • physically restrains you from leaving the room
  • pushes or shoves you


  • easily insulted
  • sees everything as personal attacks
  • has a tantrum about the injustice of things that happen to them
  • totally goes off about small irritations
  • looks for fights
  • blows things out of proportion

The Facts of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The types of sexual harassment include:


Grabbing, pinching, brushing up or rubbing against, crowding, following


Whistles, catcalls, sexual comments, sexual rumors


Facial gestures, hand gestures, writing on walls

Sexual harassment becomes illegal when submission is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition for employment, rejection is used as a basis for employment decisions, or the conduct has the purpose of unreasonably interfering with work performance and creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

While some argue that sexual harassment is no more than flirting, there are clear differences between the two. Flirting is typically enjoyed by both parties and is complimentary in nature. Flirting can cross the line into sexual harassment when one person controls the interaction, the receiver does not welcome the remarks, it is not mutual, and there is no desire to continue the interaction.

The Facts of Sexual Harassment

Step 1

f you feel safe doing so, communicate to your harasser what you are feeling and that you expect the behavior to stop. You may do this verbally or in writing. If you choose, you may get help and support from a friend, parent, professional, or other trusted adult.

Step 2

If the behavior is repeated, go to a person in authority — such as a principal, counselor, complaint manager, or supervisor. Document exactly what happened. Then, give a copy of your written record to the authority and keep one for yourself. Whenever possible and appropriate, use exact quotes.

Your documentation should include the following information:

  • what happened
  • when it happened
  • where it happened
  • who did the harassing
  • who the witnesses were (if any)
  • what you said and/or did in response to the harassment
  • how your harasser responded to you
  • how you felt about the harassment

Step 3

If the behavior is repeated again, go to a person in higher authority — such as a school board member, the superintendent of schools, the president of the college, the company president, etc. Keep documenting the behavior.

At any point in the process, you may choose to contact the Office of Civil Rights, your State Department of Education, your State Department of Human Rights, an attorney, or a police officer.

The Facts of Sexual Assault

If you did not say "yes" before a romantic encounter, it was sexual assault. Remember – it was not your fault. Make the choices now to take action. The next steps can include:

  • talk with a trusted friend or counselor
  • seek medical treatment from your family doctor or the knox county hospital at 1300 coshocton road, in mount vernon
  • call 911 to report
  • if you are a student at mount vernon nazarene university, contact the campus safety crisis hotline at (740) 397-9000, ext. 5000
  • if you are a student at kenyon college, contact the campus safety emergency line at (740) 427-5555
  • call new directions at (740) 397-HELP

If Someone You Know Is Raped

  • believe what s/he says
  • listen
  • call 911 to report
  • provide comfort and support; ask your friend if there is anything you can do or get for her/him
  • remind her/him that it was not his/her fault; s/he did not deserve what happened
  • offer protection or a safe place to stay
  • suggest calling a rape crisis center; new directions is the rape crisis center of knox county
  • encourage your friend to preserve evidence
  • discuss with your friend the importance of a medical exam
  • empower her/him; don’t try to take control of the situation. allow your friend to have control over her/his own life
  • recognize that s/he may need some personal space and time
  • discuss the options: medical exam, report, counseling
  • be there for your friend in whatever way s/he needs you
  • recognize your own limits

Support For Victims Of Domestic, Intimate Partner, & Sexual Violence/Assualt

New Directions is on a mission to end violence before it begins.

For individuals currently experiencing physical, sexual, or psychological harm, we offer a variety of resources to help move past the trauma and reclaim their lives. Resources include a 24/7 helpline and text line, a crisis shelter, and peer-led support groups.

In our youth advocacy programs, we share with children and teens what it means to maintain safe, respectful, and loving relationships. These programs are designed to strengthen the core bonds of our community as well as combat the cycle of violence.

If You Think You Are in Danger, Please Call 911. To Speak with a Member of Our Team, Please Call Us at (740) 397-4357.

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