Thursday, October 11, 2012

Domestic Violence Awareness Month {Love is NOT Abuse Cookies}

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I can't believe that it's October once again.  This year has flown by!  This is a busy month for me as a Domestic Violence Advocate because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Our agency plans a lot of community events to get the message out and to let folks know that there is help out there and that love is not abuse.

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Domestic Violence Awareness month doesn't get much advertisement, unlike Breast Cancer Awareness.  DV is a hard subject to talk about.  It shouldn't be because, like breast cancer, it can affect anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation,  socioeconomic background or education.  And while it can be a problem more likely to be faced by a woman, men can be victims too.

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Domestic Violence isn't just limited to physical violence.  It can also be sexual, psychological, emotional and/or economical as well. Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

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If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive.

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Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship:

A push for a quick relationship
Jealous and possessive behavior
Tries to control your life
Unrealistic expectations
Isolates you from friends and family
Blames others for his/her problems and mistakes
Makes everyone else responsible for his/her feelings
Says his/her feelings are easily hurt
Cruel to animals and children
"Playful" use of force during sex
Yells and calls you names
Rigid sex roles
Sudden mood swings
History of battering
Threats of violence

The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship. 

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Don't hesitate to speak up if you think someone is being abused or is in an abusive relationship. Even if you think that it’s none of your business, that you might be wrong, or the person might not want to talk about it, your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life. 

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  • Ask if something is wrong.
  • Express concern.
  • Listen and validate.
  • Offer help.
  • Support his or her decisions.
  • Wait for him or her to come to you.
  • Judge or blame.
  • Pressure him or her.
  • Give advice.
  • Place conditions on your support.
 Adapted from: NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

It can take a victim an average of 7 times trying to leave a situation before actually getting the strength and courage to stay away. Never give up!

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If you feel you are in a violent relationship and need help please call:

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
To learn more about Domestic Violence please visit the following link:

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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