Identify red flags of domestic violence and break the cycle

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Identify red flags of domestic violence and break the cycle

One in four women and one in ten men are victims of domestic violence in the United States, a scourge that can affect anyone and especially those between the ages of 18 and 25. Because of its prevalence and its increase in recent times, it is important to raise awareness around it and its prevention.

October is domestic violence awareness month. That’s why today, I want to share with you information about this type of violence, also called intimate partner violence, the signs that may indicate that you are immersed in an abusive relationship, and some resources to learn how to deal with it.

Do you know how to recognize domestic violence?

Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional abuse, sexual and physical violence, economic abuse, and a combination of these. Both men and women of all races, incomes, and education levels are susceptible to it, but it tends to be more prevalent in women.

Domestic violence starts out subtly and worsens over time, and sometimes we tend to normalize some situations and it is not easy to identify that we are experiencing domestic violence. Pay attention to the following signs in your partner:

– He insults or belittles you.

– Prevents you from working or studying or discourages you from doing so.

– He tries to control your actions, from the way you dress to what you spend your money on.

– Is jealous and often accuses you of being unfaithful.

– Is aggressive when you use alcohol or drugs.

– Threatens you with violence.

– Uses weapons to threaten you.

– Physically assaults you or hurts your children or pets.

– Blames you for his behavior.

If you are a member of the LGBT community:

– Threatens to tell friends, family, co-workers, and others about your sexual orientation.

– Says that the authorities will not provide help because of your sexual orientation.

– Justifies the abuse by questioning your sexual orientation.

Identify the pattern and break the cycle of domestic violence.

Abusive situations often repeat the same pattern in which the abuser threatens violence, attacks, then apologizes, promises to change and offers gifts. If you have already identified that this cycle repeats over and over again in your relationship, keep in mind that the longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the deeper and more serious the wounds will become.

It is likely that, as a result of the aggressions you suffer, you wonder if you are to blame for what is happening. However, it is important that you are clear that this is not the case and that this is also part of the cycle. The abuser, instead of assuming his responsibility, seeks to transfer the responsibility for all situations to you.

 How to create a safety plan?

Leaving an abuser can be dangerous, it is important that you take some precautions if you are thinking of doing so.

– Ask for advice and support from a domestic violence hotline. Find a time and place where you are safe. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (for Spanish, press 2) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY, for hearing impaired).

– Prepare an emergency bag with important documents, money, medications, keys, and extra clothing.

– Protect your media. An abuser can use technology to monitor your phone, your online communications, and track your location.

– Plan where you will go and how you can get there.

 Warning signs that someone may be experiencing domestic violence

If you suspect that someone close to you is experiencing domestic violence, pay attention to the following signs:

That person:

– Has unexplained cuts or physical injuries.

– Frequently avoids meeting with friends and family.

– Avoids what used to be their favorite activities.

– Always tries to make excuses for his or her partner’s behavior.

– Is fearful of his or her partner.

That person’s partner:

– Yells at her.

– Makes fun of her.

– Controls her decisions or makes decisions for her.

– Monitors her at work or school.

– Forces her to do sexual activities.

– Threatens to hurt her if she says she wants to end the relationship.

Together, we can help domestic violence decrease. In addition to watching for red flags to prevent it, it is important that we can provide support to those who are experiencing it. If you suspect that someone close to you is a victim of some kind of abuse, I urge you to be attentive, accompany them and encourage them to seek help.

If you want to know more recommendations to prevent domestic violence and any kind of abuse, I invite you to read my blog and listen to my podcast, there, you will find valuable tools to know how to act against this scourge, how to overcome the trauma and start the healing process.

We understand the importance of approaching each work integrally and believe in the power of simple.

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