As someone of immense value, your safety matters. If you or someone you know are in an abusive relationship, don’t wait to reach out for help. It does not need to be physical to be considered abuse. Domestic violence often starts with subtle signs.
So what constitutes domestic violence, and what are some warning signs to watch out for? Where can you go if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation? This post will address these questions.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
The dictionary defines domestic violence as “violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.” This kind of abuse is devastating because the home is supposed to be a safe and protected environment. Victims of domestic violence may sometimes wish to hide or excuse it because they may feel ashamed or afraid of repercussions if they did disclose their abuse. This is why understanding potential red flags in either your own or someone else’s relationship is so important.
Domestic abuse, whether it involves emotional or physical aggression, is more common than you might think. Statistically, 25% of adult women experience physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner or spouse. This can include physical or sexual violence and sometimes both. Abusive tendencies start with subtle behaviors and actions that might seem harmless at first, but they are a red flag, whether it’s your relationship or someone else’s. The following are some warning signs to look out for that may predict abusive behavior down the line, especially if there are several factors at play.
- Verbal insults
- Financial control
- Sexual pressure and intimidation
- Controlling who to see and where to go
If there is a consistent pattern of any of these behaviors in your relationship, that is a major red flag. Now is the time to seek help for yourself or on behalf of someone else.
HOW TO GET HELP
There are several avenues you can take if you need to seek refuge from a potentially dangerous situation. Advocates with the National Domestic Violence Hotline are available 24/7 at 800-799-7233 to brainstorm advice or action steps. If you’re local to Massachusetts and need a safe place to live, and if children are involved, there are several transitional housing options available. As always, if you are in an emergency situation and are able to do so safely, call 911. You can also book an appointment with us and we will refer you to some other resources as well.
Your safety matters, and understanding the signs that lead to domestic violence and the support systems you can rely on is vitally important. Call or book a free, confidential appointment to learn more about domestic violence resources for yourself or a loved one.