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Domestic Abuse

Brief resource for those experiencing domestic violence.

NOTE: If you are currently in an abusive relationship, it is important that you know your web activity, and other technology use, may be monitored by your partner. It is important to clear your web history after visiting this page.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 for help.

The Washington County Domestic Violence Crisis number is: 503-469-8620 or toll free 1-800-469-8600

If you are in need of immediate crisis counseling, please contact the Washington County mental health line at


What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is the willful intimidation, assault or other abusive behavior that is part of the pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It can include physical violence, sexual violence, financial control and psychological or verbal abuse. Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, or religion.

Physical abuse is one of the most easily identified types of abuse. It involves the use of physical violence, or threats of violence, to maintain power and control over an individual. Physical abuse may include hitting, kicking, biting, scratching, pushing, pulling hair, punching or choking an individual. To maintain consistent power and control, physical abuse is often accompanied by more subtle types of abuse, such as emotional and verbal abuse.

Emotional and verbal abuse is reported in almost every case of domestic abuse where physical abuse is present. Emotional/verbal abuse includes name calling, blaming, putting someone down, gaslighting, making someone a servant and setting consistent, unrealistic expectations that are impossible to meet.

Sexual abuse can also be a part of an abusive relationship. Examples of sexual abuse include forcing a partner to perform sexual acts that they do not consent to, filming a partner during intimacy without their knowledge and permission, or threatening a partner who will not consent to perform sexual acts.

Financial abuse, such as withholding funds, hiding money, putting all assets in the abusive person's name or purposely destroying a partner’s credit, can also be a part of domestic violence.

Although domestic abuse is usually perpetrated by one individual toward their intimate partner, it can also include abuse toward other family members and children. One in four women, one in seven men, and one in two non-binary persons will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

If you suspect that someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can support them in many ways.

  • Tell them what you see. Ask direct questions about their abuse, gently, and give them time to talk. Don’t rush into providing a solution. Just be there and listen.
  • Express concern for their well-being. Assure them that this is not their fault and that they did nothing to cause the abuse to happen.
  • Show support. Abuse tends to get more violent and more frequent over time. It is okay to mention this in your concern for them.
  • Refer them to resources. Use resources from this website or from others and refer them to an agency that works with survivors of domestic abuse. Many organizations offer support groups and counseling that could be very helpful.

For more educational information on domestic abuse, please refer to the videos below.

Educational Videos

What is Domestic Violence? (4 mins)

Gaslighting (5 mins)

Eggshells (5 mins)

Why Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Leave (16 mins)

Educational Articles and organizations providing educational material

The following pages provide additional educational information and resources on abuse and violence in romantic relationships:

Safety Planning

Safety planning is an important part of planning for a safe and stable future for yourself and your children. The following link will take you to an online safety plan. If you would like assistance in safety planning, please call CVS at 503-846-3026.

VISOR – Oregon’s Victim Notification System

The link below will take you to a website that allows you to sign up to stay informed regarding an incarcerated person’s incarceration status and possible release or transfer.

National 24-hour domestic violence hotline: 1-800-799-7233

*For additional, local resources, please click on our “resources and links” tab on the right.