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Empowering Women

Understanding Domestic Violence

Did You Know?

Many people have existing beliefs and assumptions about domestic violence. What do you know about domestic abuse? 

  • Domestic violence happens among women from various income and education levels, as well as various ethnicities and cultures
  • 1 in 3 women experience domestic violence worldwide
  • 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in the United States
  • More than 110,000 cases of domestic violence are reported to law enforcement in the State of Florida each year
  • There were 4,921 cases of domestic abuse reported last year in Palm Beach County Florida
  • Young adults ages 18 – 34 years old experience the highest rate of abuse which is why our prevention programs are so important

Leaving a domestic violence situation is not easy; the abuser often exacts so much power and control over the survivor that there are limited options. But the YWCA's Harmony House helps survivors find hope. Since its inception, Harmony House has empowered over 27,000 women and children find the strength to flee domestic violence. Support our efforts to empower these women by making a donation now.

Detecting Domestic Abuse

At times, the abuser is so skilled at oppression and abuse that the abuse becomes the norm. Abuse is never normal. Here are questions to ask if you suspect you or someone you love is experiencing domestic abuse.

Does Your Partner:

  • Embarrass or make fun of your friends or family?
  • Put down your accomplishments or goals?
  • Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?
  • Use intimidation or threats to gain compliance?
  • Tell you that you are nothing without him or her?
  • Treat you roughly—grab, push, pinch, shove or hit you?
  • Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?
  • Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?
  • Blame you for how they feel or act?
  • Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for?
  • Make you feel like there "is no way out" of the relationship?
  • Prevent you from spending time with your friends or family?
  • Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight to "teach you a lesson"?

Do You:

  • Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?
  • Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?
  • Believe that you can help your partner change if only you changed something about yourself?
  • Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?
  • Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?
  • Always do what your partner wants you to do instead of what you want?
  • Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?

If you answered yes to at least one of these, you may be experiencing domestic abuse. If you need to talk someone about your situation, the YWCA of Palm Beach County is here to talk with you. Please call our outreach coordinator at 561-640-0050 ext. 127. If you are in crisis or immediate danger, please call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at 561-640-9844 or 1-800-973-9922.

If you are confronting domestic violence, the YWCA of Palm Beach County can help. Our comprehensive services are available to you. Trained domestic violence victim advocates are available for information, support and referrals. With help, victims of domestic abuse can stop the cycle of abuse and begin to feel empowered towards making decisions that will change their lives forever!

Our Community Impact So Far This Year

  • Lives Saved from Domestic Violence


  • Women & Young Girls Empowered


  • Partners in Eliminating Racism & Empowering Women


  • Children Getting an "Equal Start"


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