Domestic Violence and Abuse: It’s Not Your Fault – Help is Just a Phone Call Away
Each year in the United States alone, women experience nearly 4.8 million partner-related assaults and rapes according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. All too often the victim is left without a voice or lacks the ability to seek justice in the situation. Spousal, or any type of domestic violence, is never justifiable – no matter what the situation. If you or someone you know is trying to escape an abusive relationship, here is some information to help you on your journey to healing.
What is Domestic Violence?
According to domesticviolence.org, domestic violence is defined as “behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.” This type of abuse can be verbal, physical or most typically is a combination of both. Domestic violence can range from shouting, name calling and other demeaning activities to stalking, physically or sexually harming another individual. Being abused is never okay and what many don’t realize is that emotional abuse can be just as painful as physical abuse. If you believe you are the victim of this type of behavior, there is help out there.
Signs of Domestic Violence
There is no one universal sign of domestic violence, in fact, the type of abuse you or someone you know is experiencing is unique to the relationship; however there are many general signs that should serve as a red flag that something unhealthy is going on. Abuse takes both physical and emotional forms – here are some common warning signs to notice in your partner:
- Extreme jealousy/controlling behavior: Calls to check in frequently when you are not with him/her, having to ask for permission to go anywhere alone or with friends and being spied on are signs that a partner is overstepping the bounds of a normal/healthy relationship.
- Name calling, belittling or frequent put-downs.
- Subjects you to public humiliation in front of family, friends and strangers.
- Extreme fear and anxiety associated with angering your partner.
- Perceives you as a “sex object” rather than a partner.
- Blames you for everything.
- Threatens to commit suicide if you leave.
- Partner experiences rage that is unpredictable and often directed at you when you have nothing to do with the situation.
- Forces you to have sex against your will.
- Threatens to take away your things (car, money, children etc.).
- Becomes violent and slaps, punches, pushes, pinches…commits any type of harm or physical intimidation.
How To Get Help
While you may be hoping your partner will change or things will simply “get better,” unfortunately, this is rarely the case. You need to take yourself out of harm’s way immediately. It’s a dangerous cycle of which often there is no change in behavior. It may be difficult to leave since threats of physical violence and emotional abuse can make it seem like there are no options out there. Fortunately there are many different programs in place which are designed to get you out of the situation while keeping your information confidential and protecting you from your partner.
Reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline anytime 24/7
call: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
or find many other assistance resource links here.