— Brene Brown
October is domestic violence awareness month. It can be difficult to talk about domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships but it is important to recognize the signs and know the resources available. While we often think of domestic abusers as someone we are in an intimate relationship with, know that it can be a parent, friend, coworker, or someone else close to you.
Warning Signs from Break the Cycle
Often before a major incident occurs there are many warning signs and red flags. In a silo they may appear to be small incidents, however, as they build upon each other they begin to change the relationship and the behavior of those in the relationship.
Abusers may show signs of:
Women Against Abuse has created a great resource on the types of abuse. When we think of domestic abuse we may only think of the physical signs, but an abuser can affect all areas of life, making it difficult for the victim to break the cycle and remove themselves from the situation.
Types of abuse can be categorized as:
The National Resource on Domestic Violence has created a resource for some of the emotional signs that may be more subtle warning signs of domestic abuse.
Including, but not limited to:
The Hotline has tips on creating safe exit plan during a variety of situations. While outside spectators may ask: “Why don’t they just leave?” There can be many variables that make it difficult for a victim to escape. Check out the link for ideas on developing an exit strategy in the following situations:
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has many safety tips as well as resources such as the following 24/7 hotlines:
You are not alone. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline “More than 1 in 3 women in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.” This kind of experience is not the victim’s fault. Sharing the story of the experience will help to begin emotional healing and create a community of support.
Locally here in Nashville and nationally, The YWCA supports and empowers women through a variety of services including their many domestic abuse services, such as:
Both Leah and I have been involved with the YWCA and support their mission to empower women in our community. Without organizations like theirs, we would have a gap in the necessary public services women need. We hope that you will support organizations like the YWCA in your community that provides services for women in a situation we hope no one ever has to experience.