Since 1989, when October was declared Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October has been a time of acknowledgment. Domestic violence can occur in any community and affect people regardless of their socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religious beliefs, or nationality. The physical violence one can endure is often accompanied by emotional abuse and controlling behavior. Unfortunately, this may often result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and worst-case scenario death. The devastation of domestic violence can cross into other generations and last a lifetime.
Even though there has been significant progress in the reduction of domestic violence, an average of 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute of the day. What this means is there are still 10 million abuse victims annually. The number of victims dealing with this is astonishing and heartbreaking. One in three women and one in four men have been physically abused by an intimate partner, and one in five women and one in seven men have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner. Sadly, every year millions of innocent children are exposed to domestic violence, which can result in lifelong trauma, and negative effects on the child’s emotional well-being, and social and academic functioning.
There are many disturbing and shocking statistics available, but I am only going to share one because I think this will be more than enough to help people see the seriousness of this issue. The number of US troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488, which is a lot of lives lost. According to the Huffington Post, the number of women who were murdered by a current or ex-male partner during the same time frame was 11,766. The number of people killed in combat and those who are a victim of domestic violence nearly doubles. There are many reasons people who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their abuser, which include but are not limited to the following reasons:
1. Self-esteem is destroyed and they were forced to believe they will never find another person that will love them.
2. The cycle of abuse is the “honeymoon phase”. This is the phase that follows the physical and or mental abuse. The abuser makes the victim believe they are sorry, they love them, and it will never happen again.
3. It is too dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks that follow them leaving their abuser.
4. Statistics indicate that almost 5% of male homicide victims each year were murdered by an intimate partner.
5. The victim feels personally responsible for their partner’s behavior. They are forced to feel that everything that went wrong was their fault.
6. A huge reason victims stay with their abuser is they share a life, including children, homes, pets, and other financial reasons.
Often times people do not know if they are in an abusive relationship because their partner calls them crazy and tells them nothing is wrong and they are making things up or making them feel it is their own fault. The following are ways to know if you or someone you know are in an abusive relationship and need to find a safe way out:
~Your partner has hit you, beat you, or tried to strangle you in the past.
~Your partner is possessive, always checking up on you and wondering where you are, and gets angry if you go visit with friends.
~Your partner is too jealous. They will accuse you are being unfaithful or isolate you from family and friends.
~Your partner puts you down. They insult your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. Your partner blames you for their violent outbursts and tells you that no one else will ever love them.
~Your partner threatens you and or your family.
~Your partner physically or sexually abuses you. If your partner pushes, shoves, or hits you or forces you to have sex with them when you do not want to, this is abuse. It does not matter if you are married, “NO” still means “NO”.
If you are someone you know is being abused, there are numbers to call or text for help. The calls and or texts are anonymous so that you can get the help you need. The numbers to call are 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 911. You can also text 88788. While I understand many that are dealing with abuse feel trapped and that there is no way out, please know that there is help out there so that you can safely leave your abuser. One of the most important things to remember is, YOU are enough and YOU are worth more than your abuser is telling you!
One of my favorite bands wrote a song years ago about this issue and recently released a revised version of the song. This song resonated with me the first time I heard it and still has meaning to me today, not because I am in an abusive relationship, but because of things, I witnessed when I was younger. I do believe this is an amazing song and would encourage you to listen to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ux6SlOE9Qk.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I know how disturbing this topic can be, but I also feel that this is crucial information everyone needs to be aware of. I hope you are having a good weekend and you are recuperated enough for the new week that will begin tomorrow. I would love to read your comments about what I have shared and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!