Domestic violence is the best-kept secret and the most under reported crime in America.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women.
It’s also the single leading cause of homicide of women.
Forty percent of women homicide victims were killed by their male partners or husbands.
Abuse is a learned behavior.
Many men batter because they were abused themselves as children or witnessed domestic violence in their home. Low self-esteem and/or the belief that men are meant to dominate and control women are also reasons behind battering.
Why do women stay with men who batter and abuse them?
Women stay because they have low self-esteem, because they are afraid to leave, because they lack confidence in their ability to cope alone or because they have the belief that they must “stand by their man”. Many abused women also feel that they somehow deserve the abuse they’re receiving.
SIGNS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
injuries to the head, face, neck, breast or abdomen
long-term or permanent injuries such as burns, loss of vision or hearing, bite and knife wounds, and damage to joints
COMMON BEHAVIOR TRAITS OF A BATTERED WOMAN. . . .
- shy anxious
- fearful passive
- embarrassed tearful
ARE YOU BEING ABUSED?
- When your spouse/boyfriend gets angry, does he hurt you physically?
- Does he prevent you from seeing your friends or family?
- Does he make you have sex against your will?
- Does he threaten you or yell at you?
- Does he sometimes make you feel worthless or powerless?
- Does he intimidate, berate or harass you verbally?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be in a cycle of abuse. The cycle of abuse is one of escalation so it’s critical that you seek help immediately.
WHERE TO GET HELP
Call the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week for help. This organization can give you the locations of shelters and organizations in your area that can help. Your local law enforcement agency can also refer you to a local shelter or organization.