“Has he ever trapped you in a room and not let you out? Has he ever raised a fist as if he were going to hit you? Has he ever thrown an object that hit you or nearly did? Has he ever held you down or grabbed you to restrain you? Has he ever shoved, poked, or grabbed you? Has he ever threatened to hurt you? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we can stop wondering whether he’ll ever be violent; he already has been.” ― Lundy Bancroft
We’re all impacted by it in one way or another. Whether you realize it or not. Our mother, (father) grandmother, (grandfather) sister, (brother) aunt, (uncle) daughter, (son) niece (nephew), teacher, colleague, or friend. And it doesn’t happen to just women. Both men and women experience it. Whether it’s directly or indirectly. Domestic violence is a serious human issue that deserves heightened Awareness and Prevention – not just in October – but all year round.
This is one of the issues that we here at Therapy Threads are extremely passionate about, which is why we partnered up with our local Kansas City Charity, Rightfully Sewn, who works to empower at risk women of domestic abuse by providing them with seamstress training and helping with job placement! Below are some helpful things to know about Domestic Violence statistics, signs, what to look for, and how to help.
- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
- 1.3 million women (and 835,000 men) are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
- Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
- Witness violence between one’s own parents/caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. (And creates extremely sever PTSD)
Am I in an abusive Relationship?
Does your partner:
- Embarrass you with put-downs?
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you? (intimidation)
- Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
- Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Take your money or paycheck, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
- Make all of the decisions?
- Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
- Threaten to commit suicide?
- Prevent you from working or going to school?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal or is your fault, or even deny doing it?
- Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
- Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?
- Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
- Threaten to kill you? (credit: WebMD)
Signs that someone you know is being abused:
Here are some signs to watch for:
- Bruises or injuries that look like they came from choking, punching, or being thrown down. Black eyes, red or purple marks at the neck, and sprained wrists are common injuries in violent relationships.
- Attempting to hide bruises with makeup or clothing
- Making excuses like tripping or being accident-prone or clumsy. Often the seriousness of the injury does not match up with the explanation.
- Having few close friends and being isolated from relatives and coworkers and kept from making friends
- Having to ask permission to meet, talk with, or do things with other people
- Having little money available; may not have credit cards or even a car
- Having low self-esteem; being extremely apologetic and meek
- Referring to the partner’s temper but not disclosing the extent of the abuse
- Having a drug or alcohol abuseproblem
- Having symptoms of depression, such as sadness or hopelessness, or loss of interest in daily activities
- Talking about suicide, attempting suicide, or showing other warning signs of suicide. Encourage this person to talk with a health professional. (credit: WebMD)
What should I do?
Helping a person (or yourself) contact local domestic violence groups is a difficult, but important, first step.
If you or someone you know who is being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) Or see the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website at www.ncadv.org/resources/StateCoalitionList.php to find the nearest program offering shelter and legal support.
Other ways to help
- Encourage and help your friend develop a plan for staying safe while in an abusive relationship.
- Help if your friend is preparing to leave a violent relationship.
- Learn about how he or she can stay safe after leaving.
- Be there for them and listen to them. Be a safe, supportive person, as they may not have one.
- Seek or encourage them to seek therapy. There are some extremely effective treatments for abuse and trauma (and most likely the PTSD that developed from the abuse) such as EMDR, Hypnotherapy, Sandtray, and Group therapy, etc.
National Domestic Violence hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Have you experienced abuse in your life? Have you been in a domestic violent relationship? Are you in one currently? What prevents you from seeking help? What can be done to help and support you that doesn’t already exist? If you did leave that relationship, how were you able to do so? What would you say to someone that is currently in an abusive relationship? What would you add to this article regarding awareness and prevention? Let me know in the comments below.