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Frequently Asked Questions


Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.

Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation.

On average, 24 people each minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States – more than 12 million women and men annually. Nearly 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by partner.

Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. (An older adult is defined as someone age 60 or older.) Elder abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional/psychological, financial or neglect.

Every month, 1 in 10 older adults worldwide experience some form of abuse. But with only 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse reported, the true figures are likely to be much greater. And with an increasing aging population in the United States and beyond, so will be the problem. By 2050, the global population of people aged 60 and older is predicted to more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion.

Sexual abuse is any sexual contact or behavior that happens without your consent. Sexual abuse is about power and control not sex or love and includes rape, sexual child abuse, incest, fondling, attempted rape, human trafficking, sexual harassment, pornography, exposing oneself, or any other type of unwanted sexual contact. The majority of perpetrators are someone the child or family knows. As many as 93% of victims under age 18 know the abuser. A perpetrator usually has a trusting relationship with the child, including an older sibling or playmate, family member, a teacher, a coach or instructor, a caretaker, or the parent of another child.

One in 4 females and 1 in 6 males reported having experienced some form of sexual abuse or exploitation before age 18. The effects of childhood sexual abuse continue into adulthood with higher levels of depression, guilt, shame, self-blame, eating disorders, anxiety, dissociative patterns, repression, denial, sexual problems, and relationship problems.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1. If you find yourself wondering if you are in a relationship with an abusive partner or have questions about your rights and your safety, please call us 410-234-0030. Remember, domestic violence is never the victim's fault.

Through our legal advocacy program and team of attorneys, CHANA seeks justice and healing for survivors of domestic violence. CHANA's legal advocates provide information and support to those who have experienced domestic violence, enabling victims to make informed decisions while navigating the court system.

CHANA provides a variety of shelter options for victims, including a family shelter and elder shelter.

CHANA offers individual supportive counseling, therapy and support groups. Our team of trauma-responsive counselors and therapists help clients take steps toward safety, healing and hope.

Please call CHANA at 410-234-0030 or email

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