October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a time for us to recognize those we know who are or have been victims and those who are survivors. And sadly, others whose lives were taken by their abuser.
Violence is not limited to hitting or bruising an individual. Threatening someone, putting the person down verbally, acting with extreme jealousy or suspicion, keeping a person away from family and friends and throwing objects inside the house are all red flags of a violent personality. And without help or intervention the situation will only get worse.
“It could be worse.”
“He hasn’t ever hit the children.”
“He doesn’t actually hit me.”
“I can’t make it on my own.”
“He really does love me. No one else could.”
“The police couldn’t get here fast enough if I call them.”
“I guess I deserve this because I must be a bad person.”
“If I just do what he says, maybe he won’t get mad.”
These are a few of the things domestic violence victims may say to themselves.
And the violators don’t have to be male.
These thoughts keep people in dangerous situations with abusers who usually need to make someone else feel hopeless, stupid and helpless to make themselves feel superior.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline: Facts and Figures: “On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States – more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. A child witnessed violence in 22% (nearly 1 in 4) of intimate partner violence cases filed in state courts. 9.4% of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend.”
Currently thousands of programs across the country can help abused victims by providing a safe place for them, their loved ones and often their pets when necessary. Shelters for people seeking a safe place are available at https://www.domesticshelters.org/data-center/state-province-summaries. This website has more information for the abused person including the types of domestic violence, how to obtain a restraining order and the services offered for domestic violence targets listed by state and city or town.
Use these resources if you need help or to assist someone else who is at risk.