Domestic Violence…signs and impact

I have restarted the writing of this post several times.  Domestic violence is such an important issue and there are so many aspects to cover.  However, I’ve accepted this is a blog, not a research paper.  So, I’ve decided to, for now, provide information that might help someone recognize if she or he (or someone you know) is in an abusive relationship and to understand you are not alone.  Domestic violence does not discriminate.  The desire for power and control crosses all lines….gender, race, class, religion, and sexuality.

Some facts….1 in 4 females will experience domestic violence (some studies have shown the rate to be higher).  On average, 3 women are killed every day as a result of domestic violence.  About 15% of partner abuse cases are male victims.

Domestic violence includes many aspects of unhealthy relationships.  If you can relate to any of the following behaviors I would encourage you to speak with a trusted friend or a professional.  It’s not your fault.  Help is available.

Does your partner:

-call you names

-embarrass/criticize you in front of other people

-put you down or make fun of you and then say he was “just teasing”

-keep you from seeing or talking to family members or friends

-tell you that your friends/family are jealous of your relationship and that’s why they don’t like him

-try to control where you go

-give you permission to do things

-make you feel like you have to walk on eggshells

-become very jealous/possessive and justify it because he loves you so much

-say he can’t live without you

-blame you or others for his negative behavior

-threaten to hurt himself or you if you end the relationship

-threaten to take the children if you end the relationship

-hit, push, or restrain you

-break or throw things

-make you ask for money

-make you feel guilty if you don’t want to have sex

-push you to participate in sexual acts that are demeaning or uncomfortable to you

-threaten to have an affair

The impact of domestic violence goes beyond healing the physical wounds.  The most damaging aspect of domestic violence is the lifelong emotional impact on the victim and children. The following is from a handout I give participants at community presentations on domestic violence.

Impact on victim:

-depression

-low self-esteem

-anxiety

-post-traumatic stress disorder

-hopelessness

-continuation of unhealthy relationships

-substance abuse

-poverty/homelessness

-physical complaints:  gastrointestinal, muscle aches, headaches, gynecological problems

Impact on children who witness (seeing or hearing) abuse:

-impairment of brain development in infants and small children

-problems with language development

-problems with toilet training

-irritability

-sleep problems

-emotional distress

-fear of being alone

-depression

-anxiety

-feeling powerless

-feeling guilty/responsible

-inability to concentrate/focus

-problems with school work

-poor impulse control

-difficulty resolving conflict

-psychosomatic illnesses (stomach aches, headaches)

-indiscriminate, quickly formed attachments to unfamiliar adults

-confusion regarding parental loyalties

-more likely to become involved in violent relationship

Being involved in an abusive relationship can be devastating.  You can learn to believe in yourself and your future.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence http://www.ncadv.org/

Domestic Violence Resource Center http://www.dvrc-or.org/

Statistics from NOW, NCADV, and Domestic Violence Resource Center

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All the information I share on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. Your participation on the site does not constitute a therapeutic relationship. If you are struggling and need immediate support, please contact RAINN @ https://rainn.org/ or call your local emergency services.
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