What is Domestic Violence?
People often think of domestic violence only in terms of the black eyes and bruises that can be seen. In reality, domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors that abusive men use to control their intimate partners.
As adaptive and resilient as they are, women who have been battered nevertheless face a daunting number of barriers to escaping the violence. In addition to the very real threat of harm or death to themselves or their children, victims must contend with the accompanying financial and emotional hardship. They also often weigh cultural and religious values that emphasize keeping families intact and respond to the violence in spite of justice and social service systems that don’t always provide adequate safety and support.
Women who have been battered sometimes express confusion about the recurring nature of the violence they experience in their relationship. It seems to them to be unpredictable and impulsive. Domestic violence, however, is neither random nor haphazard. It is a complex pattern of increasingly frequent and harmful physical, sexual, psychological and other abusive behaviors used to control the victim.
What Are the Signs of Domestic Violence?
The following are some of the signs that the person you are with may be abusive:
- The person repeatedly lies to you and breaks promises.
- The person withholds affection in order to get power over you.
- The person shows extreme jealousy and tries to keep you from family, friends, or interests.
- The person insults or puts you down.
- The person violates your privacy, going through your possessions without permission.
- The person threatens you.
- The person tries to control you, telling you how to dress, where to go, what to eat, what to do, etc.
- The person attempts to cause you pain or injury.
- The person punches, kicks, shakes, slaps, or restrains you.
- The person attacks you with a weapon or thrown objects.
- The person causes pain or injures you.
- The person forces their attention on you, either verbally or physically.
- The person rapes you.
- The person injures or threatens to injure the family pet.
- The person threatens to injure your children.
- The person injures your children.
Domestic violence is not a momentary loss of temper, but rather it is a pattern of behaviors over time. Most abusive relationships follow a cycle of violence, which has three stages: tension building, explosive incident, and honeymoon stage. The lengths of each stage can vary from seconds to years.
Personalized Safety Plans
Safety plans might help you anticipate the dangers you may face. Just as abusers continually shift their tactics of power and control, your safety plan is an adaptable tool to help increase your safety in you ever-changing situation. If you are on a safe computer, click here to print a Personalized Safety Plan worksheet.
Teen Dating Violence
The Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Initiative was originally spearhead by teenagers across the nation who chose to take a stand and put a stop to teen dating violence. February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month and an excellent time to educate youth and adults alike about the realities of dating violence.
Newhouse speakers are available to come to your organization to speak to both youth and adults about the realities of dating violence. If you would like to arrange a presentation for your group, contact us at (816) 474-6446 x225 or [email protected]
Dating Abuse Statistics:
- Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
- One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
- Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
- Eight states currently do not include dating relationships in their definition of domestic violence. As a result, young victims of dating abuse often cannot apply for restraining orders.
- Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
- 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don`t know if it`s an issue.
Resources for Teens and Parents:
- Searchable Service Provider Directory: http://bcbs-map.loveisrespect.org/
- Take a dating video quiz: http://www.loveisrespect.org/new-video-quiz
- Help a Friend: http://www.loveisrespect.org/help-friend-dating-abuse
- Breaking Down the jealously Myths: http://www.loveisrespect.org/breaking-down-jealousy-myths
- Healthy vs Unhealthy vs Abusive: http://www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-vs-unhealthy-vs-abusive
*Courtesy of www.loveisrespect.org