Abuse. Many of use hear about it or are even going through it. Many of us don't know what to do about it either. Maybe you know someone who's in a abusive relationship or you yourself are in one.
These are the facts:
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers.
One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States.
One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
1992, the American Medical Association reported that as many as 1 in 3 women will be assaulted by a domestic partner in her lifetime -- 4 million in any given year.
85% of domestic violence victims are women.
Police are more likely to respond within 5 minutes if an offender is a stranger than if an offender is known to a female victim.
Battering occurs among people of ALL races, ages, socio-economic classes, religious affiliations, occupations, and educational backgrounds.
A battering incident is rarely an isolated event and battering tends to increase and become more violent over time.
25% - 45% of all women who are battered are battered during pregnancy.
Domestic violence does not end immediately with separation. Over 70% of the women injured in domestic violence cases are injured after separation.
Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.
Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against peers, family members and property.
One in ten calls made to alert police of domestic violence is placed by a child in the home. One of every three abused children becomes an adult abuser or victim.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in a national survey that 34 percent of adults in the United States had witnessed a man beating his wife or girlfriend, and that 14 percent of women report that they have experienced violence from a husband or boyfriend.
More than 1 million women seek medical assistance each year for injuries caused by battering. (Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS); Horton, 1995. "Family and Intimate Violence")
Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. 30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.
Let's face it, those facts are scary! But how do you know that someone or yourself is in an abusive relationship?
Questions to ask yourself:
Have you ever been physically hurt, such as being kicked, pushed, choked or punched, by your partner or ex-partner?
Has your partner ever used the threat of hurting you or members of your family to get you to do something?
Has your partner ever injured or abused your pets?
Has your partner ever destroyed your property or things that you care about?
Has your partner tried to keep you from seeing your family, going to school or doing other things that are important to you?
Do you feel like you are being controlled or isolated by your partner? For instance, does your partner control your money, transportation, activities or social contacts?
Have you ever been forced by your partner to have sex when you did not want to or to have unsafe sex?
Is your partner jealous and always questioning whether you are faithful?
Does your partner regularly blame you for things that you cannot control, or for his/her violent outbursts?
Does your partner regularly insult you?
Are you ever afraid of your partner or of going home? Does he/she make you feel unsafe?
There are other signs of domestic violence that observers might see in a relative or friend who is in an abusive relationship.
being prone to "accidents" or being repeatedly injured.
having injuries that could not be caused unintentionally or that do not match the story of what happened to cause them.
having injuries on many different parts of the body, such as the face, throat, neck, chest, abdomen or genitals.
having bruises, burns or wounds that are shaped like teeth, hands, belts, cigarette tips or that look like the injured person has a glove or sock on. (from having a hand or foot placed in boiling water)
having wounds in various states of healing.
often seeking medical help or, conversely, waiting to seek or not seeking medical help even for serious injuries.
showing signs of depression.
using alcohol or other drugs.
If you're in a abusive relationship, or know someone who is, my heart goes out to you and I am praying for your protection.
Many of us can spot the signs of abuse, but most of us are afraid to act and get yourself or someone else's help. Sometimes the offender is so violent that you're afraid that if you act it could cost you or someone you know their life. Some woman have to slowly make an escape plan, some just simply have to speak up and tell a friend or family member, and others NEED to have the law involved.
How to leave an abusive partner:
Leaving an abuser can be dangerous. In order to do it as safely as possible, you should plan ahead and take the following precautions:
Pack a bag ahead of time that will be available to take with you when you decide it is the safest time to leave. Include items such as extra clothes, important papers, money, extra keys and prescription medications.
Know exactly where you will go and how you will get there.
Call a local women’s shelter or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) to find out about legal options available to you.
While making plans to leave, avoid making long-distance phone calls from home of using a cell phone. An abuser could trace long-distance calls to find out where you are going or intercept your cell phone conversations using a scanner. (In extream cases) Also, be aware that the abuser may be able to monitor your Internet activities and access your e-mail account.In an emergency situation, always call 911 or your local law enforcement agency. If you are not in immediate danger, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-Safe (7233), which provides crisis intervention and referrals to in-state or out-of-state resources, such as women’s shelters or crisis centers.
Once you finally get away, I urge you to seek counseling. Remember to cling to God in this hard time you or a friend may be going through.
If it's your friend reach out to them as best as you can and try to get them help.
As I always say, prayer is the biggest tool you could ever use. God is there with you and can help you through this. Be smart about it and think about the importance of your life. God has so much better for you! If you would like more people to pray for you, please email the LAT staff here and we will defiantly pray for you!
I've listed below some websites that may help you even more.
Did you know that Haley's favorite animal is a white tiger?!