Mental Health, Personal Blog

What we need to know about domestic violence

Domestic Violence is described as violent or aggressive behavior within the home. This is usually involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. You can be a victim of domestic violence whether it is physical, verbal or emotional and when you experience abuse. It can take a long time for those scars to heal which is completely understandable. It’s hard to continue to talk about the abuse and reopen those wounds but at the same time talking can help. Your abuser doesn’t want you to talk about it because then it makes them look bad. It could also turn into legal trouble. In my last post about sexual abuse I wrote about plenty of the signs of abuse so in this post I will discuss some other important details.
 
Sometimes you hear others ask “why don’t you just leave?” Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous. People forget that abuse equals power and control. When you try to leave you try to take away the power and control from the abuse which can make that person very angry. It is unknown how they will react. Some other reasons people stay in abusive relationships are:
  • Fear: a person may be afraid of what will happen if they leave.
  • Believing abuse is normal: a person may have grown up seeing abuse and believes that it’s normal. They don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like.
  • Fear of being outed: In a LGBTQ relationship that has not yet come out to everyone and they worry that their partner will out them if they were to leave.
  • Embarrassment or shame: You don’t want to admit when you have been abused.
  • Low self-esteem. when you are put down and being blamed it becomes easy to believe especially when the person saying it is someone you love.
  • Love: victim feels love for the abuser and when you have children you want to keep your family together.
  • Religious reasons: Traditional gender roles that are supported by someone’s culture or religion may help them stay.
  • Immigration status. When someone is undocumented, they may stay in an abusive relationship because they are scared of being turn into immigration.
  • Lack of money or financial abuse: where the abuser keeps all the finances so without any funds it’s hard to be able to get out and start over.
  • Disability. Being physically dependent on an abusive partner, they may feel their well being is connected to their relationship.
 
Facts and Figures
 
Sexual Violence-
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 10 women have been raped by their partner in their lifetime.
  • 13% of women and 6% of men have experienced sexual coercion in their lifetime
  • 2% women and 11.7% of men have experienced unwanted sexual contact.
Stalking-
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men in the United States have been stalked
  • 2/3rd of female victims of stalking were stalked by a current or former partner.
  • Men are usually stalked by a former partner
  • Receiving unwanted calls, texts, and emails as a form of stalking for both male and female are very common.
General-
  • 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or are being stalked. That is over 12 million people a year!
  • 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking.
  • 15% of women and 4% of men have been injured due to IPV.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men over the age of 18 in the United States have been a victim of severe physical violence by a partner
  • IPV alone affects over 12 million a year.
  • Almost half of all men and women have experienced psychological aggression by their partner.
To have a healthy relationship you need to have a mutual respect for each other’s emotional, physical and digital boundaries. As you go through your relationship you will continue to set boundaries as your relationship and feelings grow. When you are setting these boundaries there are some great questions that I found helpful and wanted to share
 
  1. Does each partner get the space they need to live healthy lives as individuals?
  2. Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t be your own person and have time away from each other too. It’s not healthy to spend all your time together, you both need and deserve alone time with your friends or just to be alone.
  3. Is intimacy comfortable and consensual at all times?
  4. Sex shouldn’t be an obligation. You should always feel comfortable while having intimate relationship with your significant other. You should feel comfortable enough to have conversations about what you both are okay and not okay with.
  5. Is there a mutual respect for privacy?
  6. Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you are required to give up all your privacy like social media, email, and passwords. You are allowed to have your privacy.
  7. Do you and your partner respect each other’s boundaries without getting angry or making each other feels bad?
  8. Once the boundaries are set, you shouldn’t feel like you are constantly defending them. You should always feel comfortable communicating your boundaries to your partner.
Domestic Violence carries a misdemeanor and/or felony charge. If you are a victim of domestic violence please contact.
 
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
 
National Center for Victims of Crime: 1-855-4-VICTIM
 
The cycle of violence:
  1. The incident: when the abuse takes place
  2. The makeup. The abuser may feel guilty. Promises it will never happen again and apologizes over and over.
  3. Honeymoon: The peaceful period. Everything seems to have calmed down. The abuser is showering the victim with gifts and romance.
  4. Tension: Victim begins to feel like they are walking on eggshells and then the abuse starts.
 
The cycle has to stop! I hear people all the time say that verbal and emotional abuse is worse than physical abuse. They say this because the bruises can heal but the words someone says to you have a lasting effect. Physical abuse can start with something small and have a bruise then may become a serious injury if not worse!
 
Perhaps you are someone who hasn’t experienced domestic violence first hand. Maybe you have a friend, coworker or family member who has been through this. I have a friend who has dealt with it for about 6 years now. It was heartbreaking to watch her go through something like that but when she refused to leave the situation there was only so much I could do. I gave her so many options to get her out but she wouldn’t. While it was frustrating I was still there for her to vent and be there in case she ever needed anything. When someone doesn’t want to leave you can’t make them. There are always some ways you can help domestic violence victims.
 
  1. No judgments
  2. Respond with patience, support and encouragements
  3. Reassure that it’s not their fault
  4. Encourage conversation but don’t push
  5. Keep things private
  6. Help them rebuild themselves
  7. Be there regardless of excuses, rejection and denial
  8. Let them make their own decisions
The recovery process
During recovery you will need to learn to trust yourself again. Learn to trust your instincts. When you are starting over now is a good time to take a good look at your friends and even future partners.
 
Going to therapy after dealing with abuse is a great idea. You can talk the situation through and they can give you some advice on how to cope and ways to move past it all.
 
Most importantly IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT ❤
 
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to this picture. I am not a medical professional, if you are having a medical emergency please contact 911 immediately. This post is for informational purposes only. If you believe you have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.

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