Domestic violence, for the most part, is about control. Abusers can control their victims using many different tactics, such as:
- Isolation from family or friends
- Emotional abuse (mind games, name-calling or put-downs)
- Economic abuse (withholding money or preventing the victims from having money)
- Sexual assault
- Actual or threatened physical harm
Domestic violence is never okay, yet it is an epidemic that impacts individuals in every community regardless of age, race, gender, religion, economic status or educational background.
Know the Warning Signs
Someone who is a potential victim of domestic violence may exhibit the following signs:
- Constant complaints about aches and pains
- Unexplained cuts or bruises
- Not allowed to use the phone
- Forbidden from seeing friends unless partner is present
- Little or no control over household finances
- Not allowed to make decisions or get a job
- Absenteeism from work
- Withdrawal from social situations
What to Do If You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence
Many domestic violence victims don’t know what to do or where to turn when their loved one has hurt them. If you are a victim of domestic violence, remember that it’s not your fault. You can protect yourself if you:
- Call the police. Assault, even by a family member, is a crime. Law enforcement representatives oftenhave information about shelters and organizations that can help you.
- Get medical attention. Visit your doctor or a hospital emergency room. Keep detailed records and photograph your injuries. You may need evidence if you take legal action.
- Leave your home or have someone come and stay with you. You can go to a shelter or call a crisis hotline. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, leave immediately.