Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Knowing the Red Flags Before It’s Too Late

The average person reads approximately 250 words per minute. Today in the United States there are 20 adults in a relationship being physically abused per minute. Therefore, by the time you finish reading this brief article nearly 40 men or women would have been abused by an imitate partner. Domestic violence knows no bounds, it affects the lives of males and females, adolescents and adults, homosexual or heterosexual. In the U.S. specifically, women ages 16 to 24 are three times as likely to be domestic violence victims when compared to other males and females within the same age range. The ugliest stigmas of domestic violence circulate around the assumption that it is a “women’s issue”. Domestic violence survivor, Leslie Steiner, puts it this way, “The question “why does she stay?” is code for some people for “It’s her fault for staying as if victims intentionally choose to fall in love with men intent upon destroying us.” As a society, it is our responsibility to seek and gain a clear understanding of what domestic violence is and what it is not. It is crucial to grasp the idea that abuse takes on many forms including physical, verbal, sexual, spiritual, financial and psychological abuse including stalking.

What domestic violence is:

Domestic violence is any intentional behavior to gain control over a spouse, close family member, or boyfriend/girlfriend that only occurs in long-term relationships where both parties have been continuously interdependent one on another. Statistics from The National Domestic Violence Hotline in 2018 reported that roughly every nine seconds a woman is beaten or assaulted in the U.S. Victims suffer from a number of outcomes including bruises, PTSD and in the most severe of cases, homicide.

What domestic violence is not:

Domestic violence is not just an occasional tiff or a temporary loss of temper. It is not just the victim’s business, it is everyone’s business because it could happen or be happening right now to your sister, roommate, mother, niece etc.

Domestic violence of any form is never asked for, provoked, or enjoyable. In no circumstance is anyone deserving of it.

The warning signs and red flags of domestic violence can be extremely hard to detect during the relationship, this is why it is important to recognize concerning behavior before it manifests into abuse. The two most common indicators at the beginning of domestic violence include:

  1. Having an instilled sense of fear. It is very common in domestic violence to condition fear in the victim by preventing them from making personal decisions through the use of threats, punishments, and public shame. 
  2. Isolation is one of the biggest red flags pointing to abusive relationships. The abuser will stop at nothing to get the victim away from community specifically family and friends. Often times this looks like moving out of state.

Girl lying on bed alone Photo by _Mxsh_ on Unsplash

If domestic violence has been and continues to be such a pervasive reality of innocent lives, it needs to be brought to light in a larger conversation within our society. The month of October is domestic violence awareness month. For more information and resources visit:

www.dvawareness.org

If you or someone you love is facing the reality of domestic violence contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at

Call

1.800.799.SAFE (7233) TTY 1.800.787.3224