Live Without Fear

  • Two women laughing with their heads together. Learn about domestic violence in the deaf community.

What is Abuse in a Deaf Relationship?

Many people do not know what abuse is. Sometimes abuse isn’t easy to recognize; some forms of it, such as emotional, psychological or sexual abuse, cannot be seen like cuts and bruises.

Domestic Abuse is also called domestic violence. Domestic violence happens when your intimate partner (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or partner) scares you, threatens you or forces you to do things you do not want to. This happens in the Deaf community. Forms of abuse common to Deaf individuals include:

  • signing very large and wild
  • signing close to your face
  • making fun of your speech
  • emotional, psychological, physical or economic abuse
  • a combination of any of the above

Domestic violence and sexual assault occur in every community and it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, young or old, hearing or Deaf, or Hard of Hearing.

What is Domestic Abuse?

What is domestic violence? Learn about domestic violence and if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.

Domestic violence can happen if you are married or dating, gay or straight. It can happen once, or it can happen over and over again.

Domestic violence involves one person in a relationship attempting to control another person. This control is over someone called an “intimate partner,” someone that you have a relationship with (like a wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend). You shouldn’t be controlled like this.

  • Are you afraid of your husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend or partner?
  • Does your husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or partner tell you what you can do? Do they tell you what people you can see?
  • Has your husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend or partner ever said he or she will hurt you?
  • Has your husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend or partner ever pushed you, thrown things at you or forced you to have sex if you didn’t want to?
  • Do you feel like you are embarrassed by your husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend or partner?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, you could be in danger. Please chat live with us or call the HAVEN 24-Hour Crisis Line at 248-334-1290 (through Relay).

What is Sexual Assault?

Learn about the many types of sexual assault. See how you can tell if you are being sexually assaulted and how to prevent it.

Sexual assault means someone has sexual contact with you without your permission. This could be if someone forces you to have sex, makes you feel that you have to have sex, touches you where you don’t want to be touched, or if you are raped. Watch the ASL video above to learn more.

Who Are the Victims of Rape?

It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, young or old, black or white, Asian or Hispanic, male or female, Deaf, hearing or Hard of Hearing. We have a program called START (Safe Therapeutic Assault Response Team) located in Royal Oak, MI. The people who work there are Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE). Our nurses see people from different backgrounds because anyone can be raped.

We need to work together to help people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. We need to give people power to prevent this from happening to others.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, it is not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. It can be very scary, but you are not alone. HAVEN is here to help.

If you feel like your online safety is in danger, click here to immediately leave the site.