An estimated 10 million people suffer from physical abuse at the hand of their partner each year in the United States. This issue affects young women the most, with females between 18-24 years old being the most abused demographic. The statistics are sobering, and they highlight why National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October is so important.
For National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at all types of abuse and the ways victims can get help. We encourage you to get involved and show support for the women in your community who are living through and have escaped domestic violence. Help spread the word by sharing these resources for victims and survivors.
Types of abuse
Domestic violence is an ongoing pattern of someone behaving in a way to gain power and control over their partner in a relationship. Punching, name-calling, and stealing money are all common signs of domestic violence, but it’s not that clear-cut. Some abusers can manipulate the situation so skillfully that their partner doesn’t even realize they’re experiencing abuse.
Here are the less-talked-about signs of physical, emotional, and financial abuse:
1. Physical Abuse
- Destroying meaningful possessions
- Threatening to harm loved ones
- Using violence to intimidate pets or children
2. Emotional Abuse
- Purposefully disrupting your sleep or making sure you don’t get rest
- Heavily monitoring your social media, phone, computer, or car use
- Preventing you from seeing your friends or family
3. Financial Abuse
- Jeopardizing your employment or sabotaging opportunities for success
- Not allowing you to work or go to school
- Running up debt in your name
Show your support for victims this October by getting involved in your community and volunteering at a local women’s shelter. Victims of domestic violence are used to being put down and told they’re not good enough. By helping women rebuild their confidence, you can make a lasting impact on their future.
Make a difference in a victims life by:
- Donating clothes—business and casual
- Giving them products for self-care
- Babysitting their kids while they take classes to further their education
- Working with them to create or refine their resume
- Helping them connect with the community for job opportunities
- Offering reliability and friendship
If a friend or family member is showing signs of domestic violence, start the conversation and provide support. Offering love and compassion help victims regain the emotional strength that’s diminished from abuse.
When comforting someone about domestic violence, stick to these tips:
- Ease into the topic gently
- Just listen—let them talk it out before you speak
- Don’t judge what they tell you
- Believe what they say
- Validate their feelings
- Reassure them they are not alone
If you are experiencing abuse, you’re not alone. Almost three out of four Americans know someone personally who has been or is a victim of domestic violence. Confiding in a friend or family member you trust about the situation can help you feel less isolated.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers a plan of action for people who are in an abusive relationship, planning to leave, or after they have left one. The NDVH tailors each personalized safety plan to fit the individual’s circumstances and offers legal information, advice, and other helpful resources for victims of domestic abuse. By utilizing these resources, you can gain control over your situation.
If you or a loved one want to speak confidentially to someone about domestic abuse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233-7233.
For any injuries, accidents, and medical emergencies—related or not related to domestic abuse—Oklahoma ER & Hospital is here for you. Our staff of highly trained doctors and nurses are ready to assist you at any time of the day, every day of the year.
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