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October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behaviors as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, physical violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary within a relationship. The primary purpose of domestic violence is for one partner either male or female consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

Domestic violence is an epidemic that affects individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. This year’s theme is #Every 1 Knows Some 1. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a small part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases death. Domestic violence’s devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences can cross generations and can last a lifetime.

Statistics on Domestic Violence

  •  On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States – each year this equals to more than 10 million men and women.
  •  1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors: slapping, shoving, pushing, and in some cases, behaviors that might not be considered “domestic violence.”
  •  Daily there are more than 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
    72 percent of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner, 94 percent of these murder-suicide victims are women.
  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year and 90 percent of these children are eyewitness to this violence.
  •  The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds 8.3 billion dollars a year. This includes 8 million dollars in paid work leave.

Common Warning Signs Of Domestic Violence

The following list can help you determine whether you or someone you care about is involved in an abusive relationship. Not all of these characteristics need to be present for a relationship to be abusive, and characteristics by themselves do not necessarily indicate abuse. A relationship may be abusive if your partner…

  • Feels he/she has the right to dictate your behavior, privileges, or responses and opinions
  • Demonstrates ownership of you or extreme possessiveness; says things like “I can’t live without you,” or “You are my whole world.”
  • Blames you for her/his problems or behavior
  • Isolates you – doesn’t allow you to see your family or friends
  • Needs to constantly know your whereabouts; expects you to spend all of your free time with him/her  Humiliates you in public
  •  Forces you to have sex or perform sexual acts
  • Insists on controlling all of the money, both your and his/hers
  • Refuses to let you go to work or, at the other extreme, forces you to work
  • Has no regard for your physical or mental health
  •  Criticizes your appearance, weight, clothes, etc.
  • Pressures you to live together or get married before you are ready
  • Angers easily
  • Becomes angry when you have a different opinion than he/she does or becomes angry when you have a different opinion than he/she does or don’t take his/her advice
  • Shows jealousy toward your children, family, friends or job
  • Suggests reasons for you to fear ending the relationship
  • Dual personality (Jekyll and Hyde), i.e., charming in public, aggressive in private
  • Disregards the law; feels he/she is above the law
  • Doesn’t want you to know about his/her past
  • Blames all past relationship problems on the ex-partner

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline. 800-799-SAFE (7233) Free Confidential 24/7.

©Wanda Currie

Vision of Recovery believes in and practices a non-denominational Christian perspective to Addiction Recovery/Mental Health Care. Vision of Recovery integrates biblically based information with coaching and counseling interventions to treat the whole person: Spiritually, Emotionally, and Physically.

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