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truths about domestic violence

5 Truths About Domestic Violence And Abusive Relationships

truths about domestic violence

 

Domestic violence and abuse are becoming an epidemic in today’s culture. It is estimated that 38,028,000 women will experience physical intimate partner violence at some point during their lives.

Men can fall victim to abusive relationships as well. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 10 American men have experienced physical violence, stalking, or rape inflicted by a partner. Another 1 in 7 men will be the victims of severe physical abuse at the hand of a romantic partner.

Whether the perpetrator is male or female, studies show that abusers often share the same traits of aggression, mood swings, no self-control, severe jealousy, and high rates of suspicion.

Are you or someone you know experiencing domestic violence and abuse? Here are 5 sobering facts about abusive relationships and what you can do to help.

5 Truths About Domestic Violence

TRUTH #1. It’s More Common Than We Think

Many people have a caricatured version of who they believe to be in an abusive relationship and that the abusive is obvious. That one spouse will be constantly yelling at their partner, or that bruises or other signs of physical abuse are apparent.

Perhaps they believe people in abusive relationships are from a lower socioeconomic background. But this simply isn’t true.

One sad truth about domestic violence and abuse is that they are much more common than one might think. It happens to children, teenagers, and adults, with nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experiencing physical abuse from a romantic partner each and every year.

It is estimated that 11,766 American women are killed every year by their husbands or boyfriends, which is more than the war in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

Abusive relationships are common and it’s time to shed some light on the truth.

TRUTH #2. Your Spouse Becomes Extremely Possessive and Controlling

As mentioned at the onset, jealousy is a common trait of abusive relationships. Partners seek to control their spouse to prevent them from cheating. Abusers may use the following tactics to control their spouse:

  • Isolating spouse from friends and family in fear that close associates will help the victim leave the toxic relationship.
  • Threatening self-harm if a partner says they are ending the relationship
  • Resorting to physical violence to prevent a partner from socializing
  • Forcing a partner to quit their job so that they are financially reliant on the abuser

Such behavior can be traumatizing to the victim. It is estimated that 81% of women experiencing stalking, physical violence, or rape by an intimate partner will end up being injured physically or will develop some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

TRUTH #3. Abuse is More than Physical Violence

Physical abuse is clear to define. It occurs when one partner acts violently toward the other. Slapping, kicking, grabbing, pushing, beating, or using a weapon against a partner is clear-cut, unacceptable behavior.

But one truth about abusive relationships is that abuse hardly ends with physical violence.

Emotional abuse is a common method of control done by an abuser. Emotional abuse can take the form of insults, demeaning speech, making a partner feel crazy or stupid, bipolar mood swings, blaming a partner for poor behavior, and using religion or guilt to force a partner to stay.

Statistics show that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime. This is a facet of an abusive relationship.

Sexual abuse is marked by any unwanted sexual advances or forced intercourse. Sexual control is another form of abuse, perhaps making a partner watch adult films or participate in sexual acts they are uncomfortable with. Refusing to allow a partner to practice safe sex or sexually humiliating or degrading a partner also fall under sexual abuse.

Domestic violence and abuse can also involve withholding food, shelter, and finances from a spouse.

TRUTH #4. Not all Abusive Relationships are Obvious

While it’s true that some abusers may be negative, controlling, uncaring people, many have positive qualities that draw victims in.

Abusers are commonly charming, loving individuals who will apologize for their bad behavior only to repeat it time and again. In some cases, the abuse may not start for some time. It may even be years. An abusive relationship may start off as loving and wonderful as the start of any normal relationship. This is what makes abusers so hard to spot.

TRUTH #5. Leaving Is Hard

Often, when one hears the intimate details of an abusive relationship they will ask “Why didn’t he/she just leave?”

The truth is, abusers, do not make it easy for their partners to leave the relationship. They have physically or mentally beaten down the victim until their self-esteem is nonexistent.

A spouse may feel they are not capable of leaving. Their abuser has told them that this is the best they will ever be able to do in life or may withhold finances, their children, or other provisions to prevent a separation from occurring.

It is also common for an abuser to enter a honeymoon phase after abuse has occurred. They may be on their best behavior for a time, apologizing to the wounded spouse and promising to change their ways.

A victim’s forgiving nature or love for their spouse may compel them to stay and help their partner.

Research indicates that a victim will attempt to leave an abusive relationship 7 times before leaving for good.

Leaving an abusive situation can be very dangerous, especially for women, with most violence and deaths occurring during an attempt to leave.

Visit the Domestic Violence Intervention Program for an extensive checklist for leaving an abusive relationship in the safest way possible.

Has your relationship turned toxic? It may be in your best interest to consider separation in marriage. Put the safety of you or your children first by getting out of an aggressive and unhealthy home. If you need help getting out of an abusive situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text 1-800-787-3224

The post 5 Truths About Domestic Violence And Abusive Relationships appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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male victims of domestic violence

The Surprising Truth About Male Victims Of Domestic Violence

male victims of domestic violence

Domestic violence — and allegations of violence — can be one of the most toxic issues in contested divorces. Too often, rightly or wrongly, they are likely to result in fathers getting shut out of their children’s lives and men having to make larger child support and alimony payments.

The
standard scenario — from courtrooms to movies — is that the husband has been
physically and verbally abusive, scaring and hurting his wife, often in front
of their children. He’s the goon, and his wife deserves to be rid of him.

Certainly,
many women do tragically end up victims of domestic violence, but there are two
other scenarios that can be just as true, yet receive little attention.

The first is that allegations of domestic violence are what some family law attorneys call “the nuclear option.” Lawyers tell their clients to file papers to get an order of protection if they say they feel fear, and as a way to strengthen their case.

Similarly,
if their husband raises his voice — no matter who started the fight — divorcing
might call the police. Within minutes, a squad car will show up and, without
listening to both parties, an officer will tell the husband to get his shaving
kit and clothes and then escort him off the property.

It has been estimated that 85 percent of protective orders are entered against men, with most being used tactically to get the upper hand in a divorce. Aside from the effect that these orders can have on child custody, property division, and payments to an ex-wife, men who are innocent are stigmatized and records of these orders can be found by employers or when looking for a job.

But
it’s the second scenario that is the least discussed. This is when the wife is
the abusive or violent spouse, hitting their husbands, throwing things at them,
destroying their belongings, spewing so many four-letter words that a hardened
criminal would blush, and even pulling weapons on them. 

One in four men (compared to one in seven women) experience “severe physical intimate partner violence,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And this doesn’t include verbal or other forms of abusive behavior. The Mayo Clinic has also written about domestic violence against men.

While interviewing men for my book, “Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life,” I heard many disturbing stories. A mother told me that her son had almost been killed by his ex-wife and fled to her house. One man recalled how his wife threw glasses and plates at him and was verbally abusive to his son from his first marriage; then, if it weren’t so troubling it would be funny, she smashed the cat’s water bowl by using it as a weapon.

Why
don’t we hear more about men who are victims — either in court or in the media?

There are a number of reasons: 1) Men are more likely to commit the most heinous acts. 2) Most advocates against domestic violence have been women’s groups. 3) Centuries of storytelling, from Othello to Hannibal Lecter, have reinforced the narrative that men are the attackers and women are the victims. 4) Law enforcement almost automatically makes this assumption. 5) Many a man feels like a “sissy” to report that the bruise on his face came from a punch by his wife, which also suggests that the CDC data may underestimate the real toll.

So,
what should men do? First, don’t be afraid to report to the police any
incidents or patterns of violence and abuse by your wife toward you or your
children.

Collect
evidence: Take photos of a bruise or scratch, a punched-in wall, or broken
glass. If possible, record the audio on your smart phone.

If
there are witnesses, ask them if they can describe what they have seen or heard
to the police or your lawyer. Write down in detail what happened (or has been
happening).

Get
your own protective order. If your children have been abused, gather any
evidence you can and protect your kids.

Evidence
is especially important since police and courts often disbelieve men who say
that they have been victimized by their wives. Tell your attorney, who can use
this information to help your case. 

Although
no man or woman should be a victim of violence or other abusive behavior, if it
happens to you, documenting and reporting it can be critically important to
your divorce case and can make a big difference when it comes to custody and
financial matters.

Andrew L. Yarrow, a former New York Times reporter and history professor, discusses these and related issues in his recent book, Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life.

The post The Surprising Truth About Male Victims Of Domestic Violence appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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domestic violence and children

Domestic Violence And Children: What Is The Impact?

domestic violence and children

 

Domestic Violence should never be taken lightly. While the severity may range, it doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the situation. The way victims choose to respond varies as well. Some victims wait before seeking help, others may immediately look for guidance, and unfortunately, some may never even report the incident(s). It’s important to let those victims know though that there is support out there.

By allowing an abusive relationship to continue, you could be putting yourself and your family in an even worse position. When victims opt to not ask for help, it not only puts them in a bad situation but their children as well. We don’t always acknowledge how children tend to be indirect victims when it comes to domestic violence. Even if the kids aren’t the target for physical or abusive behavior in the home, they can still suffer socially and psychologically.

If you or someone you know is suffering through domestic violence with kids at home, it’s important to know there are people ready to help. Taking legal action can only benefit you and your kids when it comes to escaping the cruelties of domestic violence in the home.

Domestic Violence and Children Who Witness It

While victims of domestic violence take the brunt of the abuse, kids living in the home will suffer also. This is why getting in touch with a divorce lawyer is extremely important. While it may not always be physical, just being present during a negative situation can lead to problems in the future. The effect of observing domestic violence has on kids ranges. If your kids are living in a home with domestic violence, they may end up with some of the following issues:

  • They could develop their own violent tendencies
    • To others or even themselves
  • Experience feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Displaying delinquent behavior
    • Such as aggression towards their peers and family members
  • Struggle developing social skills
  • Stunted development of their motor and cognitive skills
  • Delays in speech development

While it may not be apparent to your child what’s actually going on, it will eventually begin to impact them negatively. Which will lead them to struggle in their adult lives. Issues the involve feeling safe or even forming relationships may arise as they grow up. They could also end up in abusive relationships themselves, due to the secrets and hush tendencies they witnessed in their homes throughout their adolescence.

The age difference:

Keep in mind that the negative effects we previously discussed may not always occur, depending on the age of your child. The stage of life your child is experiencing or witnessing abuse can lead to different issues or needs. For example, an infant who is present during an episode of domestic violence may experience attachment issues. This could lead to excessive crying as well as eating and sleeping difficulties.

Whereas a preschool-aged child may experience different effects after being present during episodes of domestic violence. At this stage of the child’s life, they are in need of protection and stability, which normally would be provided by their parent. Unfortunately though, when they live in a home where domestic violence is common, these needs become disrupted causing further emotional and physical outbursts.

Contact a lawyer:

In most cases of domestic abuse, there are legitimate grounds for divorce, especially if there are children are involved. As long as the victim(s) are actively reporting the incidents, they’ll have the right to leave the violent offender. By contacting a lawyer, you’ll obtain full custody of your children or child.

If you, or someone you know, is a married victim of domestic violence, with children there is a team of attorneys ready to help. A qualified professional can help you take action towards ending the abuse going on in your home by initiating the divorce process in a safe manner.

The post Domestic Violence And Children: What Is The Impact? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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domestic abuse victim

How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce?

domestic abuse victim

 

Domestic abuse typically occurs behind closed doors. If you have experienced continued emotional or physical abuse from your partner, do not remain silent any longer. It’s time for you to experience a sense of calmness and security; it’s time for a divorce.

If you are a domestic abuse victim seeking a divorce, you will need a compassionate yet professional lawyer by your side, every step of the way. They can help protect your rights as well as help you feel safe in your life even after the divorce has been settled.

Different types of abuse:

Abuse has been defined as a pattern of behavior displayed by one person in an effort to gain and maintain control over another. Take note that when we say a pattern of behavior, we mean that this is something that is occurring more than once. While it is easy to assume physical or violent behaviors when talking about abuse, it is important to know there are many different ways your partner can be abusing you.

You may not even realize that you have been experiencing abuse in your relationship if you only consider physical or violent behavior as abuse.

Below we’re going to discuss some of the behaviors your partner may be exhibiting that fall under the term abuse:

  • Physical Abuse – This can include punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, strangling, physically restraining someone against their will, driving recklessly with your partner in the car, or in general making someone feel physically unsafe.
  • Sexual Abuse – While sexual abuse can be physical, it can also be non-physical as well. This can include rape, forced sexual acts, withholding sex, using sex as a weapon or even to pass judgment or assign value. Not only can sexual abuse have an effect on your body, but it can take a huge toll on your emotions and mental state.
  • Verbal/Emotional Abuse – These types of abuse may be harder to spot, but using words against your partner can cause severe emotional damage that can take a long time to recover from. This can include spreading lies, calling someone stupid or ugly, or even talking down to your partner.
  • Mental Psychological – In this case, your partner is likely abusing you through actions or words that have been attacking your sense of mental health and wellbeing.
  • Financial/Economic – Abusers will find any way possible to maintain their control, this can include controlling your households budgeting, not allowing you to have access to accounts, withholding spending money, preventing you from having a job or earning your own money.
  • Cultural/Identity – You partner may be using your identity or cultural beliefs as a way to cause you to suffer or control you. This can include not allowing you to follow dietary customs, preventing you from dressing accordingly to your beliefs, using racial slurs, threating to out them to their friends and family.

How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce?

Where do I start?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you need to find the courage within yourself to advocate for your own rights and happiness. The first thing to ask yourself is if you feel physically safe in the environment in which you live. If you live with your spouse and feel threatened by potential violence from your spouse, you must seek safety before anything else. You may wish to call the police. It is only after you feel safe that you should look into legal matters.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Once you are in a safe environment, it is best to begin your search for a lawyer as soon as possible. Seeking assistance quickly regarding divorce can help you battle legal matters and gain freedom in your life. You’ll be able to sort through the following topics:

  • Child Custody – It is likely that if someone is abusing their partner, they will potentially abuse their child sometime in their life. A lawyer can make sure both you and your child/children are protected from the abuser.
  • Division of Marital Property – In some cases, the behavior of the abuser can impact the outcome of how the property is divided, giving the victim the larger share.
  • Order of Protection – A lawyer can help you file for an order of protection against your abuser. It will state that your abuser cannot have contact with you. Having an order of protection can help you feel safe during and after the divorce process.

Seek Assistance:

Do not feel trapped in an unhealthy, abusive marriage. Muster up the courage to find a lawyer who supports you throughout the entire legal process in order to end your unhappiness and worry. Going through the court system can be an effective way to end your marriage as well as feeling like someone has your back during this time. Find the strength to save yourself from domestic violence and live the life you want.

It’s time to take action. If you or someone you know is caught up in an abusive relationship, know there is a way out. Asking for help shouldn’t be something you are afraid of. Get in touch with a legal team who cares about you, and your well being.

The post How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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domestic abuse victim

Domestic Abuse Victim? Where To Find Help

domestic abuse victim

 

There is help if you are a victim of domestic violence!

“Look at this food you have fixed for me! Do you call this dinner? I wouldn’t even feed this to a dog!” he screams as he swings his lengthy arm across the table knocking the food onto the floor.

Quickly she kneels to the floor. Her eyes dare not to look at him for she knows what will happen. She picks up the broken plates with her shaking hands and holds back the tears until she is alone.

Suddenly, a blow to the back of her head causes her to fall unconscious to the floor. The room is dark. There are faint cries in the background. It is her youngest son. She knows she must get up. If she does not, she fears his anger will be redirected to her son. She struggles to open her eyes, but she cannot. She tries to move her arms, but they will not move. She wants to cry out to her son to comfort him, but the words will not come. Slowly her son’s cries become more distant and then…nothing.

Every three minute a woman is beaten by her husband or boyfriend.

More women die from domestic violence than heart failure. Most abusive men have grown up in an abusive household.

Domestic violence happens every day. You are not alone. There is help out there.

Choosing to escape a violent relationship is scary. There are so many reasons you think of to stay. He might change or is just having a bad day. Maybe I should have done something better. Maybe it is all my fault. No one deserves to be abused in any form whether it is verbal or physical. And, statistics show that without help, an abuser will not stop and will only become more violent.

So you may be wondering how you will live. I do not know if I can afford it on my own. There are many sources out there willing to help you to get back on your feet in a safe environment.

Where will I go where he will not find me? He swore if I ever leave him he will kill me. You do not have to live in fear. There are many resources online, and you can find a local number to a crisis center in your phone book.

The first thing you need to do is to realize you are a domestic abuse victim.

Once you have done that then you need to make a plan.

When you get a chance to be alone, you can call the domestic violence helpline. They will offer you suggestions on what to do next. If you are in immediate danger call 911. If he is only in jail for a few hours then pack a bag and run to a shelter.

If that is not an option and you have the time to plan your escape then here are some suggestions to help you when you are ready. Pack a suitcase and hide it in a bus station or a friend’s house. Get a cell phone. A pre-paid cell has no contract, so there will not be any bill sent to your home. If you can stash a little money back if it means you have to tell him that you spent more at the store than you did.

Find a friend that you can trust. Whether it be a family friend or someone from the crisis center. Let them know of your plan and let them help you to make your getaway.

There are many support groups and advocate agencies out there. It is up to you to make the first step.

The post Domestic Abuse Victim? Where To Find Help appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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