Domestic Violence

By: Holly Aldridge

What is it?

Domestic violence is violent actions using physical or emotional abuse usually administered by a spouse or partner or anyone within the same household (roommates, brothers, sisters, parents). This usually takes place within a home or behind closed doors. Domestic violence can be physical and emotional. It usually starts verbally and leads to physical violence later on if the victim doesn't escape in time.

What are signs you should get out?

Sudden unexpected changes in the relationship, you're being threatened, if you ever feel afraid of your partner, you fear making your partner mad, if they belittle you, you feel helpless, your partner is abusive or controlling, they put their hands on you or threaten you... all of these are signs and reasons to get out of that relationship as quickly and safely as possible.

But... why do some people still stay in these situations?

The most common reason for an individual to stay in an abusive relationship is because of fear. They fear that even after they leave that person they are still in danger of being harmed due to the abusive, aggressive, and possessive attitude of that person. They sometimes also stay for the safety of their own family. The abuser may threaten that if the victim told anybody what happens or tries to get out, then they'd harm their family.

There is help for you!

Local domestic violence help shelters

Counselors

Family members can help get you out & support you

Support groups

How does one get out of a domestic violence situation?

First of all be proactive and trust your feelings. If you feel something isn't right, you don't feel safe, or you have thoughts that your partner may ever become violent. Get out as soon as possible. Don't ever think you partner is going to change, if anything they're going to change for the worse.

If you realize you are in a domestic violence relationship then you need to: create an escape plan. If you are able to walk away, then run. Keep gas in your car, drivers door unlocked, and keep extra clothes and money in a safe place that's easy to get to.

If you're in a situation where you can make a phone call safely call the police. They can and will come and take away the abuser as long as you have physical evidence you were abused. The abuser will be held in jail for a minimum of 24 hours giving you enough time to get away and escape to a safe place. Once you're out of that relationship stay out. Stay completely out of contact with that person for your own safety. Even if you feel you can help them, you can't. They have to realize and decide they want to get help for their own self. Your top priority is to keep yourself safe and out of harmful situations.