Domestic Violence: Checkmate

 

Domestic Violence. When you read these words, what comes to your mind? Television portrayals? Hollywood reenactments? …media has downplayed, glamorized and even glorified domestic violence ultimately creating a dangerous misunderstanding of the deadly reality of domestic abuse. Most people are not aware of the array of severity that classifies as domestic violence. Most people are not aware of the prevalence of domestic violence. Let’s read some shocking reality about domestic violence to set the tone of this topic:

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

  • Studies suggest that there is a relationship between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior.

  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

(Stats from National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Take the time to reread those statistics for me.  1 in 3….20 people per minute…500% homicide risk…. These are real numbers that affect real people each and every day. At this significant rate the likely hood that you know someone that is part of this statistical equation is great… THIS IS THE UNFORTUNATE REALITY…YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS IN A DOMESTICALLY ABUSIVE HOME.

Can you name them? Is it a mystery? Are you the person you’re thinking of?

Often victims of domestic violence are not easily detected; they are the masters of wearing “perfectionist masks” to fly under the public radar. This is where the danger of domestic violence resides: not seeking help to escape their risky situation. Many do not know the warning signs which is why victims we know go unnoticed and why victims become prey It is important to know that many abusers are exceedingly charming which is a bait-and-hook for the victim but it also becomes their alibi when the victim tries to inform others (“Oh no, so-and-so would have never mean to say words like the to hurt you…you just misunderstood, they are too nice to hurt anyone!”). Denial is a key reason abuse is prolonged. Educate yourself on the warning signs of domestic abuse to save yourself or someone else.

RED FLAGS: WARNING SIGNS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE

(The National Domestic Abuse Hotline)

  • Telling you that you can never do anything right

  • Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away

  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members

  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs

  • Controlling every penny spent in the household

  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses

  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you

  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do

  • Preventing you from making your own decisions

  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children

  • Preventing you from working or attending school

  • Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets

  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons

  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not   comfortable with

  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol

WHERE TO FIND HELP:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

www.thehotline.org/

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

House of Ruth: Assisting Families Victimized by Domestic Violence

http://houseofruthinc.org/

24-hour toll-free hotline: 1-877-988-5559

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

http://www.ncadv.org/need-help/what-is-domestic-violence

this website provides detailed information for finding help for victims, family, and friends on ways to get out of domestically violent situations.

9-1-1

You as the victim or a friend or family member have the right to call the emergency line to report domestic violence…the law requires them to respond.

Counseling

www.psychologytoday.com will provide you access to many counselors in your area. Local counselors are an excellent resource to provide you with shelter information in your area. Often no appointment is necessary to receive this information.

This is a heavy informative blog. I personally work with women who are currently in or recently removed from abusive relationships. The sooner you are able to remove yourself and find safety, the easier it is to restore your life. Abusive relationships rob the victims and anyone else in the household (children, elderly, roommates, etc) of a normal life. Victims of abuse struggle with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideations, identity issues, alcohol and substance abuse, insomnia, and anger disorders (often children who witness the violence). Please share this information with your friends, family, and coworkers. Help others be informed. You never know whose life you will save from becoming another statistic.

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