Domestic Violence

Love Shouldn't Hurt

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What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse, when defined by the Department of Justice, is; a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.

In the United States, domestic abuse is punishable by law and seen as a criminal offense. While effort is put into stopping abuse here, in other countries women aren't even close to being as lucky as we are. In places like the Middle East and Africa, women can be abused with no punishment coming to the abuser. There, it is a social norm.

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Signs of an Abusive Relationship

  • They want to commit quickly: Your partner will want to be as involved in your life as possible, constantly pushing for your commitment.
  • They get jealous easily: They will call nonstop, try to visit constantly, and usually won't want you to have any other relationships besides the one you two are in.
  • They are controlling: Interrogates you, checks the mileage in your car, goes through your phone and computer, forces you to ask for permission if you are going somewhere.
  • They have unrealistic expectations: They expect you to meet their every need and be the 'perfect' person.
  • There is isolation: They will want you to be with them at all times. They'll want you to cut your ties with friends and families, will take away your phone and/or car, and will constantly try to get you to quit your job.
  • They will blame others for his faults: Whether it's his family, friends, you, or his boss - they will always blame someone else for anything they do wrong.
  • They blame everyone else for their feelings: If they say 'You make me upset.' Rather than 'I'm upset.' They are blaming you for their feelings.
  • There is hypersensitivity: They will be easily insulted and often complain, rant, and rave about any little thing that happens to them.
  • Verbal abuse is frequent: They degrade you, curse you, or use ugly names. Typically hit low blows from your past or life.
  • Rigid gender roles: They expect you to serve, obey, and do as told.
  • A past of battering: They admit to being abusive in the past, but will always blame the other person or situation.
  • They threaten you or your life: If they make threats and then later say they didn't mean it, it is endangering your life.
  • For more signs, go to;

How to Get Out of a Violent Relationship

Depending on the relationship, leaving and abusive relationship can be anywhere from difficult to extremely dangerous. A list of steps can be found here, and even more listed on the website at the end of the points.

  • Know the number and location of your local battered women's shelters.
  • Come up with codes for your friends or neighbors. Sent a code in text, leave a porch light on, or find other ways to warn them about what's happening and that you need help.
  • If you are severely injured get to a doctor or ER in any way you can. Ask that they document what happened, and report the case.
  • Keep a journal or notebook of all violent or threatening incidences, along with pictures of injuries.
  • If you have children, plan with them for a safe place to go and, than in case of an emergency, that they need to get to that safe place rather than trying to protect you.
  • Sneak away if you must. Plan an escape route and a safe place to go.
  • Keep your car ready for a quick escape. Back it into the driveway, hide an extra set of keys, and leave all doors locked besides your driver's side door.
  • Hide money for yourself after leaving.

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Why Victims Tend to Stay

Situational Reasons for a Person to Stay

  • Their partner is financially stable and economically supports them.
  • They do not want harm done to themselves or those close to them.
  • Lack of occupation or home.
  • Fear of losing custody over children or of children growing up without two parents.
  • Lack of social support or ties due to isolation from their partner.
  • Cultural or religious constrains.
  • Lack of information regarding community resources.
  • Thinking that law enforcement will not take them seriously.

Emotional Reasons for a Person to Stay

  • Scared to live alone.
  • Fear of abuser.
  • Belief that their partner will change.
  • Attachment to partner.
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or the feeling of being trapped.
  • Thinking that they are the reason for the abuse.
  • Thinking they are the only one who can help their abuser.
  • Guilt over failed relationship.

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What Friends and Family Can do to Help

  • Be supportive and listen to what they're saying. Let them know that you understand that they are in an extremely dangerous and scary situation.
  • Do not judge them.
  • Support them even after the relationship is ended.
  • Encourage them and get them to take part in activities with friends and family outside of their relationship.
  • Help them with developing a rescue plan.
  • Encourage them to find help.
  • Know that you cannot 'rescue' them.

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Where to Seek Help

There are many places that you can find help for your relationship, including: