A woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds. 20 people are abused by an intimate partner every minute, adding up to 10 million each year. More than 200,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines every year. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes. These facts from Psychologytoday.com show how severe and common domestic violence is. And it should stop today.
Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship, according to The National Domestic Violence Hotline. These behaviors can be abusive economically, emotionally, physically, sexually, or digitally. Your abuser can use threats, coercion, intimidation, and isolation. An abuser is looking to gain and maintain control over their partner in the relationship.
Anyone can be in an abusive relationship, gender, age, sexual orientation, race, and socioeconomic status aside. Anyone can be an abuser. But abuse is never justified and never deserved.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). The history of DVAM starts in October of 1981, when DVAM was known as the “Day of Unity”. The Day of Unity aimed to connect advocates working to end domestic violence at local, state, and national levels. In 1987, The Day of Unity evolved to become Domestic Violence Awareness Month; 1987 also marked the year that the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline was introduced.
There are three themes that DVAM encompasses:
- Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence
- Celebrating those who have survived
- Connecting those who work to end violence
Warning signs of domestic violence, taken from The National Domestic Violence Hotline include when a partner:
- Tells you that you can never do anything right
- Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away
- Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members
- Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs
- Controls every penny spent in the household
- Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses
- Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you
- Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do
- Prevents you from making your own decisions
- Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children
- Prevents you from working or attending school
- Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets
- Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons
- Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
- Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol
If you have experienced any of these warning signs, you have the ability to seek help in a variety of ways. Please visit nrcdv.org or thehotline.org to learn more about domestic violence. Visit thehotline.org to chat with an advocate and receive help and support. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Read this post by a fellow Metiza contributor to learn about how One Love Foundation is ending abusive relationships.
Also published on Medium.