Primary Care in Rochester and Kasson

Domestic violence: You are not alone

9/19/2022 by Randa Soubra, L.I.C.S.W., M.S.W.


Domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence or relationship abuse, comes in many forms. Often, several types of abuse occur simultaneously. These types of abuse can range from physical or sexual abuse to emotional abuse, such as using insults, making threats or acting in an intimidating manner. Also, economic abuse is possible, which entails taking control of household finances. 

Moreover, abusive behavior tends to be cyclical. 

Research identifies these parts of the cycle:

  • Tension-building.
  • The abuse incident.
  • Reconciliation, or the "honeymoon phase."
  • A period of calm.

The ups and downs of the abuse cycle can be dizzying, making it difficult to make a change without support. 

Anyone in an intimate partnership, no matter the gender identity or socioeconomic status, is susceptible to the harmful and sometimes deadly effects of domestic violence. 

If you find yourself resonating with any of the descriptions above, your Mayo Clinic health care team urges you to reach out for help. Whether you share your story with a health care clinician, or a nurse, social worker or therapist, Mayo clinic is a safe and confidential place. 

Even if you are not ready to leave your relationship, your health care team can help you on your path to safety. Often this includes working with community resources to find safe housing or financial support. Maybe it's getting help to call a trusted loved one, friend or co-worker. 

You also have a larger community network available to you 24/7. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. Locally, you can reach out to the Women's shelter and Support Center or Victim Services. If there is an immediate threat to your safety, call 911. Always try to keep a fully charged cellphone with you for this purpose. 

Randa Soubra, L.I.C.S.W., M.S.W., is an integrated behavioral health therapist based at the Baldwin Clinic. In her work as a therapist — and previously a crisis line worker and transitional housing program manager — she has years of experience working with people who have experienced domestic violence.