Domestic Abuse You Can't See....
10/26/2012 11:57:00 AM
As we wrap up Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I want to highlight a key fact:
Just because you have no bruises, doesn’t mean you are not facing abuse.
Physical abuse is obvious abuse and easy to identify, but what about emotional or verbal abuse? Yes, a slap, punch, push hurts. But words wound internally, which can impact how a person feels or carries themselves on the outside. It has been reported that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. While abuse can also occur towards men, 85 percent of victims of domestic abuse are women. Even if you are not a victim, most likely you know someone who is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse – or all of the above. I know a friend who was but with their big house, BMW’s and what appeared to be perfect coupledom, behind closed doors it was another story. After he tried to hit her once, she finally left. But later revealed for years, he berated her verbally, emotionally tormented her then "shoved’ her. After the shove, that intended slap across the face was next. Since she was an athlete, she swiftly moved out of the way. And out of the house!
What are signs of abuse that aren’t physical? The famous Dr. Sherry from "Braxton Family Values" breaks it down for Essence.com saying an abuser will:
- Isolate you from friends, family and activities
- Has unpredictable anger or mood shifts
- Uses guilt to manipulate
- Jokingly verbalizing threatening behaviors
- Makes all decisions for both of you
- Blames you for all problems
Other "red flags" you should look for early one from Hope House include someone who:
- Wants to move too quickly into the relationship
- Does not honor your boundaries
- Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails and texts you throughout the day
- Criticizes you or puts you down; most commonly tells you that you are "crazy," "stupid" and/or "fat," or that no one would ever want or love you
- Has a history of battering Grew up in an abusive or violent home
- Seems "too good to be true."
That last one is a doozy! When your Prince Charming ends up being your worse nightmare. But it’s real and happens everyday. The most common question asked about victims is, "Why don’t they leave?" Dr. Sherry says victims of abuse are traumatized. Breaking away and leaving is often as traumatic as the abuse itself. Women often truly love the person who abused them, but they do not like their behavior, therefore women get caught up in the cycle of abuse. There are several reasons why women stay in abusive relationships. It’s important to understand them. Some include: Low self-esteem, fear, believing things will change, guilt, shame and embarrassment. Often time financial difficulties can be a factor as well.
While this is the month we highlight domestic abuse, it is some people’s daily struggle. If you or someone you know needs help, locally Hope House can help. They even have information for teens. Call 816.461.HOPE (816.461.4673) and for an emergency the hotline is 816.468.5463. Hope and help are available to you or the one you love.