How an abuser can discover your internet activities: if you worry that someone might see where you've been on the internet, or might read your email, please read this information.

This web site talks about violence.

What is violence?

This site has been created to collect online resources that are readable, well-informed and accessible to adult learners. This particular page has been designed to assist teachers in thinking about how to support learners' use of the site. The site has been developed as part of a fellowship from the National Institute for Literacy, with technical training provided through the Spiders at Work web camp, held in August, 2000.

The front page of this site leads to resources collected for the Fellowship project, On the Screen, and vary in difficulty and length.

[There are many resources online about violence. Some of those resources are listed here].

Students might want to scan those resources; as well, as your time allows, you may wish to gather more background knowledge about topics related to violence and learning at the On the Screen site yourself.

Utilizing this site:

You might ask students to read this first page, follow the suggestions listed there, and/or engage in pre-reading discussion about violence. While many of the resoures here focus on physical and emotional abuse, elder abuse, child abuse and child sexual abuse all fall within the too-wide parameters of violence as we know it. When working with a group of learners I haven't known before, I pose the very open-ended question: "What is violence?" and let the learners direct the conversation. We list on the blackboard their responses to the questions, and move to questions about why violence exists, what are its root causes and what we can do to prevent and work to end it.

Violence describes, or tells about, things that people do that hurt other people. Violence can hurt physically (your body) and emotionally (your feelings).

Physical abuse describes one person hurting another person by hitting, shoving, kicking, slapping, or doing other things to hurt someone's body.

Emotional abuse describes, or tells about, one person hurting another person by saying hurtful things, shouting, making a person afraid, or telling the person that she or he is stupid.

The legal definition (what the law says) of domestic violence is violence committed by one family or household member against another. (Definition from

What are other examples of violence?

Many people have thought about, or had experiences of violent behavior. Read what they've said about their experiences.

The Domestic Violence Handbook is a clearly written resource designed for women in Michigan, but it also provides useful information about domestic violence generally.

These are some of the examples domestic violence in the handbook:

Examples of domestic violence are:

  • emotional abuse through mind games, name-calling, or put-downs
  • isolation from family or friends
  • economic abuse by withholding money or being prevented from getting or holding a job
  • sexual assault
  • stalking
  • intimidation
  • Are there words in this list you don't understand? How can you learn more about what these words mean? Check out the definitions page in the Domestic Violence Handbook. Write your questions and see if someone you know can help you find an answer, or try a dictionary. If you have a suggestion to help explain these words, please let us know. Click here to send your suggestions.

    other resources

    Domestic Violence resources on the net from the Journal of the American Medical Association. Search the site for more, including basic definitions of domestic violence, and information about violence against children and elderly people as well.

    Stop the Violence, Break the Silence, Building Bridges Between Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Agencies, Disability Service Agencies, People with Disabilities, Families and Caregivers; training manual to assist practitioners to advocate for personal safety for people with disabilities, assist individuals with disabilities to gain self-awareness skills and insights about their personal and caregiver relationships, needs and responsibilities. and promote equal access to programs and services at domestic violence and sexual assault service providers.

    Woman Abuse - downloadable resources for immigrant and English speaking women, as well as support resources for teachers and others working with vicitms/survivors of trauma

    Frequently asked questions

    Frequently asked questions, or FAQs, may be useful to learners who are comfortable with online reading, as they provide a basic format through which to frame information, and seek further information.

    How can I help my friend who is being hit by her boyfriend and doesn't want to break up with him? - suggestions for supporting a friend who is being abused.

    Frequently asked questions about violence prepared by Education Wife Assault and the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence.

    The Education & Action Kit "is designed to introduce students and teachers to a range of issues that surround the problem of violence against women, and to help them feel that there are many things that they can do to take action on this issue." While many of the resources were designed to be used with adolescents, they provide interesting ways of eliciting conversations with adults - both about violence they observe around them as well as about ways in which they might consider discussing issues of violence with their children or grandchildren.

    20 Reasons Why She Stays - A Guide for Those Who Want to Help Battered Women , by Susan G. S. McGee. Critical information about the complexities underlying a woman's decision and/or ability to leave an abusive relationship. Important background information for anyone working with abused people in adult education. Revised, July, 2005.

    Similar questions are taken up at this site, Why Don't You Just Leave Him?: Answers to Your Questions About Domestic Violence and at Nurses can help domestic violence victims, by June Sheehan Berlinger, RN, BSN, Director, The Women's Pavilion, Tallahassee Memorial Regional Medical Center, Tallahassee, Fla. This author takes a different stance and a critical reading of her view of "Why don't you just leave" may raise important issues about what comprises "common wisdom" about violence.

    Of the two, if you have time for only one, read the piece by Susan McGee.

    Battered Immigrant Women - information about issues facing women who have come to North America from other countries.

    The Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, an excellent site which includes translation in five Asian languages and listings of ESL classes in the Lowell, Massachusetts area.

    Torture and Second Language Acquisition - resources for ESOL learners

    Background information and resource materials for classroom activities with ESOL learners; many of the principles describes here are equally important to consider in working with adult basic education/literacy learners as well as with those for whom English is not a first language.

    Kate's domestic violence page is well laid-out, and contains a range of links to information that varies in readability. More links to domestic violence resources are also available here.

    The violence page includes a link to a site that addresses safety planning in relatively plain language. For more information about safety planning, as well as ways to support someone who is considering leaving an abusive relationship, click here

    quilt detail

    detail of a quilt made by Elizabeth Smith, photographed by Geraldine N. Johnston, within the American Memory collection of the Library of Congress.


    go to writings about violence

    take a quiz about violence

    take a virtual tour of a domestic violence shelter

    violence home

    one of the quizzes available here.

    end abuse quiz

    to literacy resources

    May 5, 2009