WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic Violence is a use of power and control by a person in an intimate relationship. This intimate relationship includes spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, family, friends or co-habitation.
Domestic violence comes in many types including:
1. Physical (Punching, slapping, choking, shoving, etc.)
2. Emotional (Name calling, threats, isolation, etc.)
3. Sexual (Rape, assault, etc.)
4. Financial (Withholding funds, stealing, etc.)
SIGNS OF A POTENTIAL VICTIM
1. Isolate themselves from family and friends
2. Frequently misses work and/or school
3. Change in long term goals
4. Change in appearance. Victim becomes less groomed or experiences weight loss or gain
5. Depression, that was not once there
6. Cancels plans with friends or family at the last minute without appropriate explanation
7. Apologizes for everything
8. Criticizes one self often
9. Frequent bruises
10. Makes excuses for partner’s violent behavior
12. Checks phone often. Frequent calls or text messages from partner to check on victim
13. Tense around partner in a social gathering or environment
SIGNS OF A POTENTIAL ABUSER
2. Exhibits mood swings
3. Checks up on partner to verify her/his activities or whereabouts
4. Gets Angry over little issues
5. Has past abuse in his/her family
6. Blames you or others for their violent behavior
7. Substance Abuser
8. Denies abuse occurs. They tend to downplay it as accidents
9. Feels his/her gender are more superior
10. Tries to prevent interaction with others. Tries to keep partner or victim isolated from family and/or friends.
11. Extremely possessive
•1 in 4 women surveyed by the government say they were violently attacked by their husbands or boyfriends
• Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice more likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
• Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
• Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
• Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
• Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
**Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.**
1. Domestic violence is not a common occurrence.
2. If you are not physically injured it is not abuse.
3. Alcohol and/or drug abuse causes domestic violence.
4. Domestic violence is behavior that is “out of control” and unintentional.
5. Sexual abuse is not a common form of domestic violence.
6. Men are not victims of domestic violence.
7. Children who are raised in an abusive household, but are not abused themselves, are not affected by the abuse.
8. Domestic Violence only happens to poor uneducated women and women of a different race or color
9. Some people deserve to be abused
10. If the victim didn’t like it, she would leave
11. Domestic Violence is a one time, isolated incident
WHY DO VICTIMS STAY?
Abusers often threaten that they will hurt the victim, their children, a pet, a family member/ friend or themselves. Abusers may even threaten to kill the victim or themselves if their partner leaves. A victim may stay in the relationship because they are scared of what the abuser will do if they leave.
- LOW SELF-ESTEEM
When an abuser calls their partner names and play mind games, it can make the victim feel bad about themselves. Many times victims believe that the abuse is their fault or that they deserve the abuse.
Victims may depend on their abuser for financial support. Victims may not leave because they are scared that they will not have enough money to support themselves- a fear that often gets worse if they have children.
It is very common for a victim to stay with an abusive partner because they do not want to “break up” their family and are afraid that it might be hard on their children if they leave. Victims may be afraid that the abuser will take the children away or that they might hurt the children if they are not there to protect them.
- HOPE FOR CHANGE
Abusers often promise that they will change and that the abuse will not happen again. Many victims want to believe this is true, and they hope that the abuse will end and things will get better.
- PRESSURE FROM FAMILY & FRIENDS
The friends and family of a victim may not be supportive. Victims may not be believed, told that the abuse is their fault or that all relationships have bad times and that they should try harder. Friends and family may also get angry because the victim stays with the abuser or has left and gone back to the abuser so many times. Plus, friends and family may be scared about their own safety-what will happen if the victim stays at my home, etc.
- UNSURE IF HELP IS OUT THERE
Many abusers isolate their victim from their friends and family in order to gain more control. By the time the victim decides they want to leave, they may feel like they have no one to turn to and nowhere to go. Victims might not know what help is available to them in their community.
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)