By Naomi Butler, Staff Writer, 1L
Domestic violence issues are a serious threat to many partners in a relationship. Knowing the signs of an abusive relationship and how to get out of that situation can be the difference between life and death. According to an article by the Mayo Clinic (2017), “Domestic violence — also called intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. Men are sometimes abused by partners, but domestic violence is most often directed toward women. Domestic violence can happen in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.” Domestic Violence against Women: Recognize Patterns, Seek Help.
Many people fail to recognize that domestic violence often gets a person stuck in a situation that later becomes harder to get out of. Signs of domestic violence include: name-calling, putting one down, controlling the finances, possessiveness and jealousy, excessive alcohol or drug use, prevention of seeing friends or family, and lack of accountability and forcing one to take the blame for their abuse. These signs many times turn into hitting, kicking, shoving, slapping, threats of violence with a weapon, and physical harm to a person, their children, or their pets. In same sex, transgender, or bisexual relationship, experiencing domestic violence may look like threats to tell people in life one’s sexual orientation; claims that there are no resources or help for someone identifying as LGBTQ; claims that leaving the relationship is some form of saying it is wrong, and in cases of violence from women, claims that women cannot “really” be violent. Mayo Clinic (2017).
Many times, abusing partners cut off contact between victims and the victim’s friends and family so that they feel that they have no one to turn to if the victim were to leave. There is also a control over finances for the same reason. A victim having lack of access to funds makes their fleeing a domestic violence relationship harder. In addition, making a victim feel at fault for the abusive situation when it arises makes it seem as if the victim is the fault of the abuse and negates the blame from the abuser.
According to Alanna Vagianos (2014), statistics show that “[w]omen are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85 percent of domestic abuse victims being women and 15 percent men. Too many women have been held captive by domestic violence — whether through physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse or a combination of all three.” 30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It’s An Epidemic. Sometimes, just knowing and understanding the signs of domestic violence can help someone walk away from a toxic relationship before it becomes fatal. Also, knowing the signs can help someone be there for a friend or family member when they would have been otherwise unaware that there was an issue going on.
The Mayo Clinic Staff. “Domestic Violence against Women: Recognize Patterns, Seek Help.” Mayo Clinic. March 1, 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
Vagianos, Alanna. “30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It’s An Epidemic.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.