October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and we wanted to share some facts and spread awareness on this type of abuse.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. It is also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse, or relationship abuse. Domestic violence can occur to people who are married, living together, or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Types of Domestic Violence
There are many types of domestic violence or abuse, and the most common include:
- Physical and sexual violence
- Reproductive Coercion
- Sexual Abuse and Coercion
- Threats and Intimidation
- Emotional Abuse
- Economic Deprivation/ Financial Abuse
- Digital Abuse
Many of these forms of domestic violence can be occurring at one time within the same relationship.
It can be difficult to predict if a relationship will become abusive in the beginning. Many partners may not appear to be abusive the early stages of a relationship, but possessive and controlling behaviors may emerge later on. It is important to note that domestic abuse does not look the same in every relationship. However, a common factor that many abusive partners have is that this individual will do things to have more power and control over their partner.
Some warning signs of an abusive relationship includes a partner who:
- Prevents you from making your own decisions
- Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses
- Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do
- Shows extreme jealousy of your friends or time spent away
- Insults, demeans, or shame you with put-downs
- Intimidate you with weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
- Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children
Learn more about warning signs here: https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/
Here are some of the most recent statistics regarding domestic violence.
- More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
- More than half (57%) of college students who report experiencing dating violence and abuse said it occurred in college.
- Victims of digital abuse and harassment are 2 times as likely to be physically abused, 2.5 times as likely to be psychologically abused, and 5 times as likely to be sexually coerced.
- 30 to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.
- There is a common link between domestic violence and child abuse. Among victims of child abuse, 40% report domestic violence in the home (from a WORLD REPORT).
What To Do If You Or Someone You Know May Be In An Abusive Relationship
If you believe you may be in an abusive relationship, there are many resources available to you to ensure your safety. They are listed below.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline:
- Phone: 1-800- 799- SAFE (7233)
- 24/7 Chat Available
- Teen Domestic Violence Hotline:
- State Based Organizations:
- Resources for Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence:
If you know someone who may be in an abusive relationship, it is important to empower them to make their own decisions. Often times, it is difficult for people to leave an abusive relationship because it could be a dangerous time for the victim. You can also provide support in various ways such as:
- Being supportive and listening to their story
- Be non-judgmental
- Encourage them to participate in activities or support groups
- Help them develop a safety plan
- Encourage them to talk to people who can provide help and guidance
Overall, domestic violence is an ongoing cycle of abuse that is often times difficult to break. It is important to know the warning signs and take the necessary steps to support a loved one who may be going through domestic abuse, or utilize the resources available to ensure your safety if you are experiencing abuse. Remember, abuse is not your fault.