Today’s guest writer, “Deeds,” is a Masters of Public Health student (with a concentration in health education) and has BA in exercise science. Some of her areas of interest are body image, sexual health, and LGBT issues.
Domestic violence affects men and women alike. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), nearly 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in her entire lifetime and 1 in 10 men will experience some form of abuse in his lifetime. Domestic abuse occurs in relationships when an intimate partner uses physical and verbal threats to gain power over the other. It’s a power game that represents the dissolution of trust and respect in a relationship in an intimate relationship. Victims are manipulated and convinced they are at fault and deserving of the violence; they feel trapped in their relationships for fear they will be judged, or worse, that their batterers will kill them. Perpetrators will repeatedly try to smooth over or even deny their behavior with apologies and promises of change. Domesticviolence.org explains this phenomenon as “the cycle of violence” or “power wheel.”
It’s normal to have the occasional argument in a relationship, but what crosses the line? What is abuse? Below are the common types of abuse adapted from Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Physical abuse: Has your partner ever hurt you? Have you been kicked, slapped, punched, or shoved?
- Sexual abuse: Has your partner forcefully touched or tried to make you do sexual things? Do they refuse to practice safe sex with you?
- Emotional or psychological abuse: Does your partner frequently insult, lie, blame, threaten you, or obsessively monitor your phone, computer, or other activities?
According to the NCADV, domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States. Had security officers not arrived when Janay Palmer was knocked out cold, who knows what could have happened to her within the confines of their home?
Break the silence. If you or a friend may be experiencing domestic violence, check out the resources below:
- If you are in immediate danger, dial 911. U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224 TTY 1-866-331-8453
- Text “loveis” to 22522 or live chat at http://www.loveisrespect.org.
- U.S. National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)
- For more safety tips, such as how to stay safe online, please visit the National Resource on Domestic Violence.