Domestic violence awareness is something we hear about all the time.
But what is domestic violence?
Yes, this seems like a silly question to ask like it should be common sense, right?
To be real with you a lot of people think they know just what domestic violence is and then find themselves trapped in a domestic violence situation they feel trapped in.
Don’t let that person be you.
I am a survivor of domestic violence.
I’m here to give the story from the inside and spread awareness on domestic violence.
So lets jump right in.
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The Many Forms Of Abuse
When I was young I was taught about physical and sexual abuse but what we didn't talk about was the other forms of abuse that are just as bad as the physical abuse.
There are many forms of domestic violence and there are a lot of signs to prevent yourself from ever getting put in a position of having to go through all the pain.
Spreading domestic violence awareness is so important because some may not even realize that they are a victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is more then just the obvious hitting, punching, kicking, and slapping.
It can come in forms of the words used against someone or even mentally messing someone up.
So let's begin!
Domestic Violence Awareness
Domestic violence is any one persons attempt to gain control over someone they are or were in an intimate relationship with.
This could be a woman or a man and it can be in both heterosexual or same-sex relationships.
Domestic violence comes in many different forms and that's why domestic violence awareness is so important.
These are the things you need to watch for.
The behaviors are not cute and they do not mean they love you.
Gaining Control Over You
Control is a form of domestic violence and is used to gain dominance over you.
This can be things like watching your mileage or when you are out and about they check in with you constantly.
They will say things like I love you and I just want to make sure you are safe.
They may monitor your calls from friends, family, and doctors.
They may show up unexpected to check in and make sure you aren't doing anything they don't approve of.
They may make comments about you not being able to survive without them or tell you no one else will ever want you because you are not pretty enough or make ugly comments about your body.
They may use your children to keep their dominance over you making threats that they will kill them or cause harm to them.
They may even threaten to kill themselves if you leave them.
Often this behavior starts in the teen years once teenagers start dating and is one sign parents can watch for.
The Types Of Physical Abuse
Domestic violence such as physical abuse is more then just hitting, kicking, and biting.
It can be any kind of physically aggressive behavior.
Withholding your physical needs such as food, sleep, transportation, health needs, and locking you in or out of the house.
Physical abuse can also be threatening to cause physical harm to you, your pets, or your children.
Sexual Abuse Is More Then Sex
Sexual abuse is another form of domestic violence.
Having sex with you when you are sleeping or when you can not make a conscious decision on whether or not you want to have sex is sexual abuse.
Pushing you into having sex with them even after you have said no is one type of domestic violence many people are not aware of.
Making fun of your body or making offensive statements about your body.
Any unwanted kissing, licking, and touching of any kind.
If they have sex with others and use it to hurt you this is also a form of sexual abuse.
Withholding sex from you because they didn't get their way.
Another form of domestic violence is using unwanted objects on you in a sexual manner.
This is why domestic violence awareness is so important.
Emotional Abuse Or Intimidation
Emotional abuse comes in so many different forms.
This is any type of undermining, humiliations, rejection, or threats.
They make you feel like your crazy or way out of line.
Hiding your belongings and then yelling at you for them being lost.
They may hurt you and then try to make it right by pretending the abuse never occurred or like it wasn't as bad as you make it out to be.
Completely disregarding any of your needs or pretending that you are completely out of line for having any needs.
They make you feel scared of them or the world around you.
Gaining Control Using Isolation
This behavior is closely related to control.
They will keep you from your friends and family they may make up lies about them causing fights between you and them.
This helps them keep you from the people who would be willing to help you get out of the domestic violence situation you are in.
By cutting off your connections to the outside world they gain the control to keep you thinking the way they want you to think which is you can not survive without them that they are the only ones on your side they will always have your back.
They may say things like well if you really loved me then you would want to be with me and not your friends.
They will make you feel guilty for being with your family because you aren't with them as much as you are your family.
They may leave bruises on you and remind you how embarrassing it would be to be seen with those bruises or that someone might say something and then you will be on the streets.
The Use Of Verbal Abuse
Another form of domestic violence is verbal abuse this is more then just name calling.
They could make threats towards you, your kids, pets, family members, or even your reputation.
Yelling or screaming at you.
Refusing to speak to you because they are mad at you.
Using Finances To Keep Control
Economic abuse is financial abuse.
They may make it so you can't work and you are completely dependent on them for everything.
They will withhold money for personal care items, food, clothing, or gas.
Holding money for nonessential things is also a form of economic abuse.
Keeping control of the family funds is an easy way to make sure you can't leave giving them complete control over you.
Stalking Is A Form Of Domestic Violence
Stalking can occur at any point before, during, or even after the relationship is over.
They may come up with reasons to come back to the house like they left a belonging or that they have some of your belongings.
They could follow you to and from work, school, the store, or other places.
They may steal belongings to get you to meet up with them.
They might hide in the bushes or behind trees around your house or work place.
They may use surveillance cameras to keep tabs on you by placing them in or around your home.
They may place harassing phone calls to your cell phone, work phone, and home phone.
They may destroy your stuff or make threats to scare you from reporting them to the police or other authorities.
I Am A Survivor
When you are in a situation that any of these are occurring it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I know when I was living through it, it was not easy to wanna get up in the morning or admit I was worth more then what I was receiving.
I had to wake up and realize that I was a person and I deserved to be treated with respect.
My short comings didn't matter because I was still a person.
I went through years of counseling to correct the way I was taught to think about myself and the world around me.
I am a better person for it now and understand how important sharing information to get the word out about domestic violence awareness is.
It's easy to pick out all the negative things about yourself and agree with your abuser that you aren't good enough.
Find the good things about yourself change your mindset from being a victim to knowing that "I am a survivor."
The words I am a survivor means more then you just wake up and endure the abuse.
I am a survivor means you take the control of who you are and you make the stand to get out and make a life better than the one they could ever given you.
This is not easy.
You will go back to the thinking of "I can't make it without him" but remember everything you endured then was harder then trying to pay the bills or put food on the table.
Spreading Domestic Violence Awareness
I hope that I have shed some light on what domestic violence is.
Spreading the word about domestic violence awareness could save someone's life that you care about or even your own.
If you notice that someone is suffering from domestic violence, let them know they have a friend.
Please do not try to push them to leave their abuser because they may get defensive.
Let them talk and vent to you don't say things like well if I was in that position I would leave or I wouldn't ever let someone treat me that way.
Instead listen to them and let them know you are there if they need help or want to talk.
Take the time to have quality conversations with them, just as you would your child and hope that they will get out of the situation they are in unharmed.