October: A Month to Raise Awareness on Domestic Violence
Did you know that domestic violence can affect anyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or educational level? Domestic violence or intimate partner violence has become a fairly frequent problem in our societies.
And did you know that you don’t have to be married to suffer it? Although many people think that it is only exercised by men towards their wives, with whom they have been living together for many years, this type of violence is common in any type of couple: spouses, current boyfriends or girlfriends, ex-partners, or sexual partners.
The following figures demonstrate the prevalence of domestic violence:
– There are 10 million victims of domestic violence in the United States each year.
– 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are physically abused by an intimate partner.
– Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes.
– 19% of intimate partner violence involves a weapon.
– 40% of female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month, it is important to learn how to identify this type of violence, the warning signs, and what you can do to address it.
12 signs to help you recognize domestic violence
Domestic violence does not always manifest itself in the same way, it can have different manifestations such as emotional abuse, sexual and physical violence, economic abuse, and can even combine several of these expressions.
Many times, we cannot act against it as we simply do not know how to recognize it because, at the beginning, it can be very subtle and it is common that we normalize some situations in our relationships. Over time, it usually gets worse and, the longer we stay in an abusive relationship, the deeper the scars it will leave in our lives.
Pay attention to the following signs in your relationship:
– Insults appear.
– The person seeks to prohibit or discourage his or her partner from working or studying.
– One person tries to control the actions of the other.
– Jealousy and frequent accusations of infidelity occur.
– The consumption of alcohol or psychoactive substances triggers violent behavior.
– There are threats of physical violence and/or the use of weapons.
– Physical aggressions occur.
– The aggressor always seeks to blame the other person for all situations.
In the case of members of the LGBT community, the abuser often:
– Threatens to tell friends, family, and co-workers, among others, about their partner’s sexual orientation.
– Convince the other person that the authorities will not help them because of their sexual orientation.
– Question their partner’s sexual orientation and use it as a justification for the abuse.
Did you know that the cycle of domestic violence repeats itself?
The cycle of domestic violence usually begins when the abuser threatens to use violence; effectively attacks his partner, then shows remorse and apologizes, and finally promises to change and offers gifts. This cycle repeats itself over and over again.
If you have noticed this happening in your relationship, it is important to be aware that you are in an abusive relationship that can cause serious damage to your physical, mental, and emotional health and you need to find a way out.
And although you may feel guilty, you are not, but this happens because the abuser, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, will often blame you for everything.
How do you know if someone close to you is a victim of domestic violence?
Although it is said that relationship problems are solved privately, sometimes those who suffer domestic violence do not find a way out of their situation and require help even if they do not ask for it. In this case, it is important that the people around them know how to identify warning signs and can provide support and company. Know some of the warning signs:
The possible victim:
– Presents unexplained cuts or physical injuries.
– Frequently avoids meeting with friends and family.
– Avoids activities that were once their favorite.
– Attempts to make excuses for their partner’s behavior.
– He/she is fearful of his/her partner.
That person’s partner:
– Yells at them.
– Used to make fun of them.
– Controls their decisions or makes decisions for them.
– Watches them constantly.
– Forces them to do activities of a sexual nature.
– Threatens to hurt them if they say they want to end the relationship.
In the #YoDigoNoMas Movement, we reject all forms of violence and abuse, and we seek to empower children, adolescents, men, and women so that they have the tools to protect themselves from any type of abuse.
We also provide a safe and trusted space for survivors of sexual abuse to take the first step towards healing their physical and emotional wounds by sharing their life stories. Learn more about the Movement and join our cause.