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Domestic Violence: When Love Becomes Tainted

domestic violence

One in every four women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime.

85% of domestic violence victims are women.

1.3 million Women are victims of physical assault by n intimate partner each year.

This fact is according to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence. http://www.ncadv.org/

Imagine that one in every four women.

That makes it a good possibility that in this audience with have some women who have been victims from a domestic violence relationship.

I just would like to say that for anyone who might be experiencing this problem I hope you will find a way to be safe and one day have the courage and resources to leave what has to be a day-to-day nightmare. No one deserves to live in fear. The person who is the abuser is at fault and nothing they say to try to make you feel as though this is all happening because of you is a lie. It’s not your fault.

Domestic Violence is about power and control.

Let me say this again. Domestic violence is about power and control over an intimate partner and or persons living together. What you may have thought was cute and caring about your partner calling you about where you are or what you have to who you are with may be warning signs of someone who wants to be in control of your every movement. This type of behavior may be early signs of manipulation, criticizing and isolation.

Most of us may at some point in life know or knew someone who is a victim of Domestic Violence. Just as one in every four women are victims of domestic violence statistics say that three out of four  people know of someone who has been a victim of domestic violence. We may not know what to do or say to help this person but sometimes just being supportive can do a great deal of good to the person going through this. We’ll get back to what you can do as a friend of someone being abused by their partner.

domestic violence

What are some of the questions you should ask yourself as to if you are in an abusive relationship?

For example do they…

  • Embarrass you with put-downs?
  • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
  • Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
  • Hit you, slap you?
  • Exhibit the Jekyll and Hyde Characteristics:
  • They go on emotional swings of highs and lows or from happy to angry in a matter of minutes
  • Any one thing might trigger bad behavior from the abuser if they feel you have somehow wrong them
  • They rarely accept accountability in fact they’ll blame you for causing a violent emotional verbal outburst or physical attack
  • This may be followed by the honeymoon period where the abuser seems to offer sincere apologies and I love you’s for their behavior and promises it will never happen again

Being hit by your partner is what most people understand as Domestic Violence so if there are no traces of bruises you have to be more observant of the victim’s behavior and outside appearance.

Domestic Violence is not just about physical abuse.

Remember it was pointed out it’s about power and control so that putting someone down or using verbal threats is a way of gaining emotional control by manipulating one’s feelings and self-esteem. An abuser will systematically begin to isolate his victim by alienating them from family and friends. He may cause her to lose her job by constantly calling her at work or by the abuse itself which may cause her to call off work thus making her even more dependent on him not only for love and attention but financially as well.

Tainted Unhealthy Love

  • Most DV relationships like many others start out seemly like any other and develop into some form of love for the two individuals
  • As tainted as this love may have become it is however the love the victim has come to identify with
  • Isolation is a big part of the abusers M.O. because it limits the victims support base for help
  • In some cases this isolation can stem down to any children in or from the relationship
  • The abuser may demonstrate jealousy when his partner gives any attention he believes he should be granted
  • He will therefore force her to neglect her children by making threats against them; Pregnant women may be in the most danger from their abuser because they feel they are vying for their partner’s attention with the baby
  • They may become even more physically dangerous as an attempt to get rid of the child
  • So in order to protect her children (born or unborn) she does whatever he demands

domestic violence

What makes an individual stay with their abuser?

  • There may be various reasons why someone stays in an abusive relationship
  • One is fear. The fear of what the abuser will do if he finds her or what he might do to her children or other family members
  • There is the economical reason to look at as well
  • The victim may not have family or friends to turn too or may not want to get them involved
  • Some victims have been manipulated so emotionally that they feel a sense of guilt if they were to leave their abuser; he may have threatened her with his own death should she leave or make promises to never hit her again and that he would get help if she stays with him

On average a women victim of domestic violence may take up to 7 out of ten times before finally leaving their abusive partner. Is that shocking to anyone? Where can someone who is a victim of Domestic Violence turn for help and what can you do as a friend to help them?

There is help available to victims of domestic violence.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/vawa_factsheet.pdf) is a landmark piece of legislation that sought to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States. The passage of VAWA in 1994, and its reauthorization in 2000 and 2005, has changed the landscape for victims who once suffered in silence. Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking have been able to access services, and a new generation of families and justice system professionals has come to understand that domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are crimes that our society will not tolerate. VAWA is currently scheduled for reauthorization in 2010. Hearings and briefings were underway in mid-2009 for the reauthorization effort which falls under Commerce, Justice and Science, and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education committees. 

This law met some difficulties getting renewed this recent time around but it did pass and remains an important law in the fight against domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

domestic violence

The victim has to be willing to take legal action by filing a domestic violence charge against their abuser. Taking out an order of protection against the abuser is another thing a victim can do. The problem is a lot of these incidents go unreported or if they are reported the victim fails to show up in court and the charges get dropped.( Note: Some states can file charges against the abuser if the victim recants or fails to show up in court). It takes courage and the strength of survival to see domestic violence cases through. Most city and states have domestic violence crisis shelters for women and families. These DV shelters offer services with safe housing, counseling, support groups to legal and court advocates.

Where to get help:

The Domestic Violence Hotline (24hrs)

1-800-799-7233

http://www.thehotline.org/

Most cities and states are connected to Domestic Violence Advocates who can be dispatched to a victim in need of services at their local police station.

Tips from the National Domestic Violence Website http://www.thehotline.org/

Domestic Violence

domestic violence

As a friend

  • Don’t be afraid to let him or her know that you are concerned for their safety.
  • Acknowledge that he or she is in a very difficult and scary situation.
  • Be supportive.
  • Be non-judgmental.
  • Encourage him or her to participate in activities outside of the relationship with friends and family.
  • If he or she ends the relationship, continue to be supportive of them
  • Help him or her to develop a safety plan
  • Encourage him or her to talk to people who can provide help and guidance
  • Remember that you cannot “rescue” him or her

You should never threaten to end your relationship with the victim if they do not leave their abuser – doing so may feel like be another form of manipulation – having someone to listen is important to the victim’s quest for survival. Domestic Violence is a vicious cycle of living life in fear. It is the breaking down of one human being by another through intimidation, manipulation and isolation. It’s about dominance of power and control.

Important Dating Red Flags

  • The Jekyll and Hyde Characteristics:
  • They go on emotional swings of highs and lows or from happy to angry in a matter of minutes
  • Any one thing might trigger bad behavior from the abuser if they feel you have somehow wrong them
  • This may be followed by the honeymoon period where the abuser seems to offer sincere apologies and I love you’s for their behavior and promises it will never happen again
  • Pregnant women are in even more danger from their abuser because they feel they are vying for their partner’s attention with the baby
  • They may become even more physically dangerous as an attempt to get rid of the child
  • An abuser will do everything within their power to breakdown their partner’s self esteem in order to gain control of them and their surroundings
Larry D. Miller has over 20 yrs. in the field of crisis intervention as a call center Supervisor for a national crisis hotline. Larry has authored a book titled "How to cheat and not get busted" is currently available at: www.authorthouse.com and many online book retailers. Larry is not only a contributing writer for Ms Nix in the MIx he also generates his own blogs and facebook pages. Larry enjoys spending time with his family, writing, coaching baseball and playing golf.
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