What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one individual to exert power over another individual in the context of an intimate or family relationship. It can be physical, emotional, and/or sexual.

To keep control, abusers will use:

  • Intimidation – looks/gestures, smashing things, displaying weapons, etc.
  • Emotional Abuse - name calling, guilt, mind games, humiliation, put downs.
  • Isolation – limits, contact with friends & family, and outside involvement.
  • Economic Abuse – not allowed to get/keep a job, no access to family income, must ask for money.
  • Threats – violence, suicide if you leave, will report you to social services.
  • Sympathy – will say they are sorry, they love you, it will never happen again. Abuser might even buy a gift.

Think Prevention

  • Prevention steps can be taken at any time - before there is a concern that a child is being abused - to reestablish safety to prevent further abuse. By becoming educated about child abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglectful), you are already becoming a proactive and protective adult. 
  • Trust your gut. You may be the only one who can take action. Studies show that in as many as nine out of ten cases, kids  don't tell anyone they are being abused. If something makes you uncomfortable, speak up. Your voice is the first line of defense in keeping kids safe. Talk to family members and other adults about safeguarding children.                 
  • Warning Signs - A "warning sign" is really just another way of saying an "opportunity for prevention" - a chance for caring adults to recognize possible risk and to take action to protect children.

Don't Go It Alone - There Is Help!

24 Hour Hotlines and Other Resources:


VA Family Violence & Sexual Assault1-800-838-8238
James House – DV/Sexual Assault Intervention Prevention804-458-2840
District 19/Crisis Intervention804-862-8000
Colonial Heights Police911
Colonial Heights Police Non-Emergency804-520-9300
Victim Witness Program – Laure Hahn, Director804-520-9258
Commonwealth's Attorney804-520-9293
Child Protective Services804-748-1100
Central Virginia Legal Aid804-862-1100
Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court Service Unit804-520-9355

Latinos In Virginia Empowerment Center                                                                                                  1-888-969-1825

Join the Juvenile & Domestic Violence Task Force

If you are interested in learning more about the Colonial Heights Juvenile & Domestic Violence Task Force, please call the Office on Youth & Human Services at (804) 520-9286 or email jdvtf.colhts@gmail.com