Inside Hubbard House

Domestic Violence in the Mainstream: Violent Phrases

Kill. Hit. Bang. Fight. Beat. Shoot. Do you ever use these terms? Most people do, without even realizing what they are actually saying. We frequently use these verbs in our everyday conversations to illustrate our behaviors. Although domestic violence is often a hidden issue, the violent language is all around us.

Physical violence is often the one that leaves visible marks, but verbal violence may hurt just as much, if not worse. Words are like weapons; they wound sometimes. However, violent words have worked their way into our everyday conversations in an almost frightening way. These words have become so common that they often do not even bother us anymore. In certain scenarios, we might even laugh if someone says, “I’m going to kill you” or “you are a dead man.”

The violence is everywhere; seen on TV shows, heard in songs played on the radio, and, for some, even right in front of us in real life. For almost a decade now, Jacksonville has unfortunately been in the lead of crime rates in the United States, and in 2009, more than 7,800 cases of domestic violence were reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Violence is a prevalent issue, and as long as there is violent language, there will be violent behavior.

Violent Phrases Used in Everyday Conversations:

  • When push comes to shove
  • Beats me
  • Get away with murder
  • Hit me up
  • Punch line
  • If looks could kill
  • Twist your arm
  • Break a leg
  • Knocked up
  • Take a shot/stab at it
  • Slap in the face
  • Adding insult to injury
  • Bang for your buck
  • Roll with the punches
  • Shoot from the hip

We can all do a part in ending domestic violence. Try and remove phrases, songs, movies, and TV shows that glorify or downplay domestic violence from your daily activities. Together we can make a difference!

DID YOU KNOW: Domestic violence has occurred throughout written history. The phrase “rule of thumb” dates back to the mid-1600s in England when the concept of the “rule” was that it was acceptable for a man to beat his wife as long as he used a stick no bigger around than his thumb.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119.


Founded as the first domestic violence shelter in Florida in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children, and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic childcare, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit to learn more.

By Vicky Krook