For many people, there are few things that evoke a more reassuring sense of warmth, comfort, stability, and safety than going home. Many people see their home as a personal stronghold—a bastion of unconditional love and support. At home we tend to have more freedom, more time for family, and for a few hours, at least, we are afforded an escape from the hustle of the day. For victims of domestic violence, however, the home is anything but a refuge.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence is the intentional physical assault, intimidation, battery, sexual assault, and/or use of other threatening behavior by one member of a household against another. Other less obvious forms of abusive behavior include stalking, the use of threatening looks or gestures, attempts to control the reproductive health of an intimate partner (for example, refusing to use contraception during intercourse), and displays of psychological aggression such as putting down, humiliating, or isolating an intimate partner.