“I picked you up off the trash heap and polished you. I gave you worth.”
“I need to correct your thinking.”
“Are you going to submit or not?”
These statements are all too real for victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a growing problem in the United States and around the world, but it is a subject from which most people hide away.
The NO MORE organization, a campaign to educate and end domestic violence and sexual assault, states that in a room of six people, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have/will experience violence from their partners in their lifetime, while 1 in 3 teens have/will experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from their partner in the course of a year.
NO MORE defines domestic violence as, “… a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat and/or use of violence.”
Domestic violence is not limited to physical violence. Other examples include:
- Strict control over a person’s finances, social life or physical appearance
- Needing constant contact (phone call, text messages, direct messages, etc.)
- Insulting a partner in front of others
- Extreme forms of jealousy
Ways to detect abuse:
- Isolation from friends and family
- Frequently cancelling plans last minute
- Unexplained injuries or injuries with stories that do not add up
But, what do you do or where do you turn after being abused or finding out a friend or family member has been abused?
Reach out and find resources. There is a list of sources listed below that accept calls from survivors, as well as concerned friends and family members, in order to help find help or provide assistance. These hotlines will also guide friends and family members on how to handle these types of situations. These calls are free and confidential.
If you are helping someone you know deal with domestic violence, know that you do not have to be an expert. Being a friend is what survivors need and it is a very daunting issue to deal with for both supporters and survivors. Having a support system can be very beneficial to survivors.
It is important to know that a partner is not the person that should be dictating what you do. If your partner controls who it is you can or cannot hang out with is not normal or healthy. Being physical (i.e. slapping or “play” fighting) is not acceptable, either. Jealousy is not showing how much your partner loves you.
Most importantly, know the signs of abuse and educate yourself and others on how to deal with situations like this. Educating people on this issue will help in resolving it.
Resources to Find Help & Assistance for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
If you are in an emergency situation contact 911
- NO MORE Organization
- The Joyful Heart Foundation
- Boundaries Online
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 | http://www.thehotline.org
- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE | www.rainn.org
- National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
1-866-331-9474 | www.loveisrespect.org
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline
1 (800) 273-8255 | www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org