During this week, we have reflected on how information is powerful in understanding and ending domestic violence. Being able to tell the signs of domestic violence is very challenging, especially when it is happening to someone we love or maybe even ourselves.
Please read the following signs of abuse.
It may be abuse if one partner:
- Embarrasses the other with put-downs
- Acts in ways that scares the other partner
- Controls what the other does, who they see or talk to or where they go
- Stops the other partner from seeing friends or family members
- Takes the other partner’s money or Social Security check, makes the other partner ask for money or refuses to give money
- Makes all of the decisions
- Tells the other partner that they’re a bad parent or threatens to take away or hurt their children
- Prevents the other partner from working or attending school
- Acts like the abuse is no big deal, it’s the victim’s fault, or even denies doing it
- Destroys property or threatens to kill family pets
- Intimidates with guns, knives or other weapons
- Shoves, slaps, chokes, or hits the other
- Threatens to commit suicide
- Threatens to kill their partner
If you are experiencing the signs above, please call our advocates at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.
We have to remove the stigma around domestic violence. Many statistics show that 1 in 4 women will be abused in their lifetime. Despite this high number, abuse is still a taboo subject. We need to make domestic violence an issue that we can talk about openly so that victims and survivors won’t feel judged for experiencing abuse. We should make sure that anyone who reaches out for support is met with understanding and compassion.
This week’s theme is that information equals power. For DVAM Challenge #4, please share this image. You may right click it and save it to your computer to be shared electronically via email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or more. You could also actually print it out and tape it to a mirror in your house, or pin it to a bulletin board at your church, local cafe, workplace, etc.
Please share this message. Promote the idea that domestic violence can happen to anyone, and that there is support available.
DVAM challenge #3: Answer true or false to the statements below and then continue reading on to see how you did.
1. Domestic violence is not a problem in your community.
2. Couples counseling is recommended by The Hotline for abusive relationships.
3. Sometimes the victim provokes their partner into abusing them.
4. Yelling, putting down or belittling someone isn’t ever considered abuse.
5. On average, more than 3 women are murdered by their partners every day.
6. If the abuse was getting too bad, the victim would just leave.
7. The most dangerous time for a victim is often when their partner first lashes out.
8. Everyone deserves respect in a relationship.
9. If children aren’t being abused and don’t witness the abuse, they aren’t affected.
10. The cost of domestic violence is extremely high to society.
What do you think? How many are true and how many are false? Here’s the key:
1. False. Domestic violence happens in every community. Unfortunately many cases go unreported.
2. False. The Hotline does NOT recommend couple’s counseling when there is abuse in the relationship. It can be very dangerous to the partner being abused. An abuser may use what is said in therapy later against their partner. Individual counseling may be helpful but couple’s counseling is not recommended. Read more here.
3. False. Regardless of their actions, no one deserves to be physically, verbally or sexually abused.
4. False. Domestic violence is the pattern of behavior than an abuser uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner. It can be physical, verbal or sexual.
5. True. Each year, domestic violence results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women. Furthermore, domestic violence results in nearly 600,000 injuries among men (CDC).
6. False. Many victims love their partners despite the abuse or feel as if they have no support system or resources outside of the relationship and so they feel as if they can’t leave. Furthermore, the period immediately after leaving an abusive relationship is extremely dangerous.
7. False. Domestic violence typically worsens over time. Leaving is the most dangerous time for a victim because their abusive partner feels like they are losing power and control. The abuser may escalate the abuse in order to regain that power and control.
8. True. Absolutely no one deserves to be abused and there is no excuse for being physically, verbally or sexually violent toward a partner.
9. False. Children are extremely perceptive. Even if they don’t see the abuse happening, they feel its effects.
10. True. Each year, domestic violence costs more than $5.8 billion dollars, with $4.1 billion of that amount being spent directly on medical and mental health services (NCADV).
How did you do? Interested in learning more about domestic violence? Check out our website for more information or give us a call at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).