Domestic Violence: The Facts
It is closer than you think.
Domestic violence is commonly thought of as an issue experienced only by women. Unfortunately, although 85% of sufferers are women, men can be victimized too. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior intended to manipulate, humiliate and terrorize intimate partners and does not necessarily involve physical violence. It is an abuse of power used to maintain control and is easily ignored by other family members and friends in the absence of visual cues in the way of unexplained bruising.
Physical abuse is only one of the many forms.
Emotional abuse – emotional blackmail is used to manipulate the victim
Economic abuse – withholding funds to pay bills, buy groceries, and other essentials
Sexual abuse – rape and forcing the victim to perform degrading acts is common
Did you know?
· Many incidences of domestic abuse will not be reported to the authorities
· One fourth of all women will experience abuse
· Male victims, concerned with further humiliation, will rarely seek help
· Risk factor demographics indicate higher risk for the 20-24 age group
· One Third of homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner
· Stalking: the perpetrator physically assaults over 80 percent of women stalked. A high proportion of these are also sexually assaulted.
What can you do?
- If you know someone is being abused, let them know you care – be a friend
- Express concern for the victim’s well-being, encouraged them to talk about their situation
- Listen. Let your friend express themselves without being judged
- Offer assistance – gather community resources that may be useful
- Support his or her decisions. You may want them to leave immediately, but they might not be ready.
- Research the nature of Domestic Abuse.
- Help your friend understand the cycle of abuse, and the ways in which perpetrators use manipulation and emotional blackmail to maintain control.
- Help them to regain their self-esteem, by finding a positive, encourage a favorite activity, and remind them they are valued.
- Ignore the situation. But also don’t confront the attacker either
- Put your own life at risk
- Blame the victim, or judge their actions (even if they choose to stay)
- Give advice…just listen and support them.
Where to get help
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Call: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
The National Sexual Assault Hotline
The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline