October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

#1 FACT: Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. What is Domestic Violence exactly? Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.

Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, or any other witnesses. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life – therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.

One may not know that they are in a violent relationship right away. In fact, most relationships in its early stages start off seemingly too good to be true. However, as the relationship grows, so does the controlling and abusive behaviors. Some Red Flags & Signs on Domestic Violence, just to name a few, would be:

*              Telling you that you can never do anything right

*              Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away

*              Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members

*              Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs

Domestic Violence also affects one’s mental health. Domestic violence victims face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress. Child & Family Services has dedicated, compassionate professionals to help.

Help change the facts. Speak up, speak out, and make a difference for victims of domestic violence!