October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Even though domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violence in America, the awareness month doesn’t get as much attention as other topics.
Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten by a partner. However, very few leave or file a report against their partner. It’s important to be aware of the signs of domestic violence to ensure that both you and your loved ones aren’t in an abusive relationship.
If you or someone you know experiences the following signs of domestic violence, contact authorities immediately.
1. Frequent injuries, such as unexplained bruises, cuts, cigarette burns, etc. The injuries are often explained as an accident.
2. Loss of self worth and lowered self esteem
4. Increased anxiety
5. Anxiousness when communicating with a significant other
What to do about Domestic Violence
If you suspect a loved one is in an abusive relationship, first bring the issue up to them. Ask direct, closed-ended questions to avoid them making excuses. If you’re in an abusive relationship and feel that you are in immediate danger, contact law enforcement. There are also many support networks, including:
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is also called Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) because it occurs between two people in an intimate relationship, like a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife. IPV includes physical violence and sexual violence, or the threat of either of these. IPV also can be emotional abuse involving control or power of one person over another. It can result in physical and emotional pain and injuries and sometimes, even death.
Victims of IPV
In this country, nearly 20 people every minute are victims of physical violence from an intimate partner. Women are most often the victims, and young women ages 18-24 are most likely to be victims. IPV affects men also: One in four men have experienced physical violence by a partner in their lifetime. The fact is, most of these crimes go unreported.
Effects of Domestic Violence/IPV
Domestic violence has far reaching effects. Direct victims of domestic violence are more likely to suffer physically and emotionally and often have depression and/or social isolation. Children who witness domestic violence in their homes may have more physical health problems and emotional distress. Boys who grow up witnessing domestic violence in their homes are more likely to become abusers themselves and girls who are exposed to IPV are more likely to be victims themselves as teens and adults.
How to get help
If you or someone you know is suffering from intimate partner abuse, you are not alone!
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help: 800-799-7233 or visit www.thehotline.org.