This past week in my intro to women’s studies class we discussed Resisting Violence Against Women. In this class we discussed several different things such as the ways women react to violence, how people believe it is the women’s fault and so on. One of the things we didn’t really talk about were possible signs of abuse. So I want to talk about, what the signs are that someone may be in a domestic violence relationship; it is really important that everyone is aware of the signs.
So lets begin with what is domestic violence. Domestic violence is a form of violence that occurs between two people involved in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can take on several different forms such as emotional abuse (belittling someone), sexual abuse (rape), physical abuse (hitting), and even threatening to abuse someone. Domestic violence is also commonly referred to as domestic abuse.
Sometimes it is not easy to identify when you or someone else may be in a domestic violence relationship. There are always a few relationships that are obviously abusive and you know it but sometimes you may not. So here are some things to think about if you think you or someone else may be in a domestic violence relationship. A common sign that many people ignore would be if you were being called names. A more obvious sign would be your significant other not allowing you to visit and spend time with friends or family. Another sign could be acts of jealousy or accusing you of being unfaithful to the relationship. Some other common signs are hitting you, a child or a family pet; forcing you to participate in sex; telling you that the violence was caused by you. Many times these signs are over looked especially if it is something like calling you names or acting jealous. Another thing to add… this can also happen to same sex couples.
It is also important to realize that if there are children involved they could be experiencing abuse as well. When this happens to children they tend to grow up and become abusers themselves simply because that is what they see as normal. If this is the case for your relationship you should try your hardest to get out of the relationship and seek medical advice.
Abusive relationships have patterns and it is a very distinct pattern if you have ever experienced an abusive relationship. The pattern starts with threatening violence against the individual. The next part is the abuser begins hitting the individual. After that the abuser more than likely apologizes and promises to do better and offers up an apology gift. Unfortunately the cycle is only going to repeat itself until it becomes a regular habit on a daily basis. The longer someone stays in a relationship like this the harder it is to internally heal from the experience. One of the major reasons a person stays in such a relationship is because they are dependent upon that person. The best thing that individual can do is to tell someone what is going on and seek help.
The main places to seek help are local women’s shelters and counseling centers. If you are not sure there is a place like that in your area call 1-800-799-SAFE to speak with someone with the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
S. Livingston 2010-002