It is a topic that most people do not want to talk about. It is a subject that many are afraid to discuss. It is two words that can forever change the lives of those involved: Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is more than physical abuse. It can take on many different faces, but itís all the same, abuse.
How many times has someone witnessed abuse and have spoken the words: It is none of my business? How many times have we heard the words sorry, it will never happen again only to have it occur over and over again more frequent each time.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There are numerous organizations that are having events to support the victims of domestic violence and for its prevention. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you are urge to seek help. At the end of this article will be links and a toll free number that can be called. Confidentiality is practiced always, as it is imperative to keep victims of domestic violence safe.
Although women make up for the majority of cases of domestic violence, there are increasing numbers of men that have also been victims. Some men may not come forth because of the stigma of being embarrassed or that no one would believe them. But itís true; men can be victims as well. Also, domestic violence has been increasing amongst teenagers and gay and lesbian couples over the years. Domestic violence does not discriminate. It affects all walks of life, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all classes. Some might even find it hard to believe, but domestic violence has been on the rise in many Churches. Not that it was not present before; but now more victims are speaking out.
Women Against Abuse give the following definitions for domestic violence.
Domestic Violence is a crime and can include the following types of abuse:
Physical Abuse: The abuserís physical attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts that escalate into more frequent and serious attacks. Physical abuse includes behaviors like: pushing, shoving, slapping, damaging property or valued items, leaving partner in a dangerous place, refusing to provide assistance when their partner is sick or injured, attacking with weapons, etc.
Psychological and/or Emotional Abuse: Psychological or mental violence can include anything that impacts the mental health and well being of the partner, such as: name-calling, constant criticism, harassment, blaming the victim for everything, excessive possessiveness and jealousy, isolation from family and friends, intimidation and humiliation.
Sexual Abuse: Physical attacks by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminate in, sexual violence wherein the victim is forced to have sexual intercourse with the abuser or take part in unwanted sexual activity, including unprotected sex.
Economical Abuse: This includes any behavior that maintains power and control over finances, such as: preventing their partner from getting or keeping a job, making their partner ask for money for every expense, limiting partnerís access to funds and knowledge of family finances, and controlling their funds.
Whether it is physical, psychological, emotional, or economical, domestic violence is a serious issue with devastating and sometimes deadly consequences. This month, we will take the time to focus on domestic violence, and what we can do to help stop the abuse.
If someone you love or you yourself have been the victim of domestic violence and are in crisis, please call the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TYY for the deaf: 1-800-787-3224