Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a time for all of us to speak up about domestic violence, raise awareness, and support survivors of this devastating but common issue. Domestic violence can happen to anyone and it is present in every community, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a pattern of power and control created by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, economic, and emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically.”

Unfortunately, the pain emotionally caused by this act can be damaging long term. Survivors of domestic violence most likely will need to seek mental health Providence and suffer from PTSD also known as post traumatic stress disorder. As a survivor of emotional domestic abuse myself, I needed therapy and medication to learn how to live daily life again, understand that there was nothing I did to deserve it to know the problem was not myself, learn to love myself again as well as establish trust that not every human will treat me the way that individual did.

Domestic violence has significant impacts on survivors other than psychological trauma including physical injury, psychological trauma, and even death. The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying lock-downs, social distancing, and other mitigation measures have only increased. Worldwide, incidences of domestic violence are increasing while the usual escapes for survivors by shelters, police restraining orders, friends and family, and others may not be accessible now due to fears of contracting and/or spreading the virus, social distancing, and limited services. Therefore, it is more important than ever to raise awareness about domestic violence and know the warning signs of abuse.

Below are some important signs that you may be in a abusive, toxic, unhealthy or dangerous domestic violent relation. If your partner is telling you that you never do anything right, showing extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away from them. Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with friends, family members or peers, Insulting, demeaning, or shaming you; especially in front of other people. Preventing you from making your own decisions; including about working or attending school, controlling finances in the household without discussion including taking your money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses. Pressuring you to have sex or perform sexual acts you’re not comfortable with, pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol. Intimidating you through threatening looks or actions. Insulting your parenting or threatening to harm or take away your children or pets. Intimidating you with weapons, or destroying your belongings or your home.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, know that none of these things are acceptable and you do not deserve to be treated less than you are, know that you are not alone and that help is out there! If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and you are someone they know and trust, talk to them about the next steps to avoid this abuse.

By: Dee Barczak

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