Although there are some stereotypical views of what domestic violence looks like, it has no single face. It could be your neighbor, friend, relative, or that person you just passed on the street.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes not just physical or sexual violence, but also threats or emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically of course, but ultimately if you live in a state of fear of your intimate partner we’re encouraging you to seek help!
Please, if you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for totally confidential support.
• Nearly 1 in 5 women have been a victim of sexual assault at some point in their life. Link
• It is estimated that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime!
• The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk for homicide by 500%.
• 1 in 3 female murder victims and 1 in 20 male murder victims are killed by intimate partners.
• A child witnessed violence in 22% of the intimate partner violence cases in state courts.
• Facebook reported that 45% of users in the U.S. had at least one friend who had posted #MeToo on their timeline with only a few days of the movement! Link
Here’s a story that is all too common:
In January of this year Sara Schmidt of Appleton, WI (Town of Harrison) was murdered outside of her home by her husband, leaving behind 3 children. She had filed for divorce after her husband was arrested for domestic violence, but he had been released on bail. She had, by all accounts, done everything right in trying to stay safe. Schmidt was the second woman killed in a domestic violence incident in just four months in the Fox Cities.
– This is part of why so many people who are victims of domestic violence are afraid to take action, so we MUST find a way to give them better support – to open the path for them without putting them at further risk.
Warning Signs of an Abuser
Intimate partner violence alone affects more than 12 million people per year. Red flags and warning signs of an abuser are important to recognize and include things like:
• extreme jealousy • possessiveness • unpredictability • bad temper • cruelty to animals • verbal abuse • controlling behavior • antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships • controls the finances • Sabotage or obstruction of the victim’s ability to work or attend school
Watch for red flags. If you feel you, or someone you know may be in trouble, please reach out confidentially! Again the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
There is help out there, and there are people who care about your well-being. Please seek support if you are reading this knowing that you are a victim, and if you are not? Please take some sort of action to support those who are.