The legal definition of domestic abuse is any abusive, violent, coercive, forceful, or threatening act or word inflicted by one member of a family or household on another.
We hear about it on the news, and we read about it in the paper. Many of us know someone who is in an abusive relationship. Domestic abuse affects people of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, genders, and income levels. And, it comes in many forms.
There is physical abuse which can include punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault, and more. Since more than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners, we strongly suggest you watch this video to learn how to escape from a potential sexual assault situation.
Abusers that inflict emotional abuse may attack their partner’s self-esteem, their body size, hair color, education, etc… wearing the victim down.
The one we don’t hear about very often is financial control. This is when the abuser controls all aspects of the finances in the relationship. This can work two ways. If the abuser is the one working, they may not allow the victim to work. They provide them with a minimal allowance or no money at all. They may block any access to the finances including bank accounts and credit cards.
Anything the victim wants or needs is controlled by the abuser. The other side of this is the abuser sits home and does nothing while the victim must turn every penny over to them. This leaves the victim with nothing or they have to face consequences.
Did you know 1 in 4 women are the victim of domestic violence? It is possible that a woman could sit in the cubicle next to you, be in line in front of you at the grocery store, or standing right next to you at the next family gathering, and you wouldn’t even know. The number one fact about domestic violence victims is most will never report it.
Men are less likely to report abuse, because they feel it’s a sign of weakness. Friends will tell them to man up and deal with it. They are told they can take a punch or a hit. But, should they have to? Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults in the USA. Many will often experience emotional abuse they ignore, so they can be with their children with hopes the relationship will recover.
More than 60% of domestic violence cases happen at home between the hours of 6 P.M. and 6 A.M. and often spike near the holidays.
Victims and potential victims need to have a plan. Packing a ‘go-bag’ is highly recommended. The way to position the bag in the home is it’s there in preparation for an emergency such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, and so on. But, you know why it’s really there.
The bag should include photo ID’s of you and your children, proof of residency, medications or copies of prescriptions, clothing for a couple of days, basic toiletries, and some non-perishable food items that do not need preparation.
Many abusers don’t allow access to a phone, or they take control of the cell phone activating tracking apps. This why we recommend having a prepaid phone that you keep separately with an extra car key, cash, and a phone and address list of family.
An important fact to know is cell phones that are not active can call still dial 911. Yes, any phone active or not can dial 911!
No victim of domestic violence or abuse is ever to blame! If you suspect someone is the victim of domestic abuse, don’t look away. They need your support!
The Domestic Violence Hotline is 800.621.HOPE (4673).
Tracy Vega, mom, wife, visionary, community leader, and entrepreneur is the co-founder of Simple Self Defense for Women®. She is the winner of the 3rd Annual Power Women Magazine & Radio Show “Woman of the Year” award for 2012 and the June 2012 “Wednesdays’ Woman of the Month” for Every Way Woman Radio Talk Show. Contact – Website – Facebook – LinkedIn – Pinterest – Twitter
Photo Credit – Victor Habbick