Experts say to be aware of the following signs of domestic violence in a relationship:
*Threats to harm children.
*Verbal abuse that may include name calling or insults to intelligence.
*Someone looks to isolate or control the time of a spouse or partner.
*The abused person becomes more withdrawn.
*A partner might say that she is the only one who understands her partner.
*Extreme jealously, in some cases accompanied by accusations of affairs.
*In adult cases, someone bent on control of all aspects of financial affairs, including insistence that a partner hand over a paycheck.
*A partner may obsessively call or send text messages.
*Mood swings that shift between being very nice and really mean.
*Threats involving what will happen if you don't have sex (also worth noting is that 70 percent of pregnant teenagers are abused by their partners, according to the National Violence Resource Center).
*Someone is told by her partner that if they break up, he'll harm himself or someone else, or if other threats are made.
*After an abusive situation, a partner makes frequent promises that it will never happen again.
Anyone can get confidential help for a child, friend or themselves at several 24-hour domestic violence hotlines staffed in Niagara County. There also are dispatchers trained to handle medical emergencies involving domestic violence when you call 911.
To make a report or just talk to a counselor call:
Lockport -- Alternatives to Domestic Violence at 433-6716
Niagara Falls -- Family and Children's Passage Program Family Violence Services at 285-6984
North Tonawanda -- YWCA of the Tonawandas - 692-5643
Violence by the numbers
Incident reports filed by various Niagara County police agencies last year:
Niagara Falls: 1,015
Niagara County deputies: 956
North Tonawanda: 471
Town Niagara: 93
State Police and Parks Police: 87
*The county had a high of 3,600 domestic violence reports in 2006, but averages about 3,200 reports per year.
*The county averages about one domestic violence-related homicide every other year, but in 2004 there were four such homicides; in 1994, seven of 12 homicides in the county were domestic violence-related.