Domestic Violence Awareness: A Call to Action

November 20, 2020 6:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October was National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence affects millions of people in America, and it may not always be obvious to family and friends. Do you know the signs of domestic violence, and what to do if you or a loved one are being abused? Read on to learn how to recognize the signs. Be sure to recommend domestic violence, physical abuse and mental abuse counseling in Yakima, WA to anyone suffering from an abusive family or partner.

Recognizing the signs

We all have a mental image of a battered wife, but domestic violence isn’t just physical abuse. It can also include stalking, sexual or reproductive coercion, financial abuse, controlling behavior, the silent treatment, name-calling and more. While men are more likely to be the abusive partner, women can commit domestic violence, too. So can parents—which seems unbelievable to other adults who love their children in a healthy way.

What’s worse is that many abusers are able to put on a good front for the public, then resort to abusive behavior in private. Not only does this make it harder for others to recognize and support the abused person, but they may have a hard time even believing it if the victim comes forward. “But he’s such a nice guy,” they say. Even victims often have a hard time recognizing the abuse.

Here are some of the signs of domestic violence:

They bully or control you: Name-calling, stalking, constant check-ins, telling you what to wear and how to act are all abusive behaviors.

They control the finances: They might steal your paycheck, not allow you to have access to your bank account, tell you that you’re too stupid to handle the money and won’t give you money for basic needs.

You’re isolated from family and friends: “If you loved me you wouldn’t need to spend time with your family and friends.” They might refuse to let you have friends of the opposite sex (if you’re straight) or same sex (if you’re LGBTQ+).

They physically or sexually abuse you: Physical abuse is more than just hitting or kicking. It can also include keeping you from sleeping, getting medical attention or eating. They might punch the wall next to you or abandon you in an unfamiliar place. Sexual abuse isn’t just rape—they may interfere with your birth control, guilt you into sexual acts or refuse to use condoms.

What to do if you suspect you or a loved one are being abused

If you believe you or a loved one are being abused, seek help immediately. There are a number of different hotlines you can call. You should also pack (or encourage your loved one to pack) a “go bag” with clothes, car keys, your phone and charger, important documents and any sentimental items you don’t want to lose.

If you’re the victim of domestic violence, help is available. Apple Valley Counseling Services LLC offers domestic violence, physical abuse and mental abuse counseling in Yakima, WA. Call today to get started.

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