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More about domestic violence and it’s effects on victims, children, the community, and the economy.

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Common DV Questions

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive and controlling behavior which can include physical, emotional, mental, sexual, and/or financial abuse. While some abusers can have complete control over a victim without use of violence, all types of abuse traumatize the victims. Many times, abusive partners make it extremely difficult for their victims to escape, leaving survivors to suffer in silence.

Domestic violence is a serious crime, often involving multiple felony offenses that are life-threatening, and plagues our nation and the World.

There are thousands of victims every day, and domestic violence doesn't care about age, race, religion, education, or sexual orientation. It affects millions.

If you're a victim of abuse, please know, it's NOT your fault, you are NOT alone, and you CAN break the cycle.

Unfortunately, the way the cycle of abuse works, it's hard to get safe and stay safe, and our broken system is limited with the help provided.

Most abusive partners use tactics of manipulation and coersion to get their victims isolated and in their full control. Many abusers terrorize their victims with threats against them and/or loved ones, making it scary for a victim to leave. Abusers who use "gaslighting" can confuse their victims, making them feel like the abuse is their fault.

Many survivors say they only want to end the abuse, not the relationship, and some stay/return because of promises abusers make to change. Abusers almost never change, and many times, the abuse becomes more severe, violent, and dangerous.

According to the Portland WomenStrength Program found at portlandoregon.gov, these are warning signs of an Abusive Person:

 
1. Jealousy and Possessiveness. Wants to be with you constantly. Accuses you of cheating all the time. Follows you around and frequently calls. Asks friends to check up on you.
 
2. Controlling Behavior. Constantly questions who you spend your time with, what you did/wore/said, where you went. Makes you ask permission to do certain things. Acts like you don’t have the ability to make good decisions. Hides controlling behavior by pretending to be concerned for your safety.
 
3. Quick Involvement. Six months or less before living together or engaged. Claims love at first sight. Pressure for commitment. Says you are the only one who can make him feel this way.
 
4. Unrealistic Expectations. Compliments you in a way that makes you seems superhuman. Over-flattering. Expects you to be perfect. Says, "I am all you need. You are all I need."
 
5. Isolation. Puts down everyone you know- friends are either stupid, slutty, or you are cheating with them- family is too controlling, doesn’t really love you, or you are too dependent on them. Refuses to let you use car or talk on phone. Makes it difficult for you to go to work or school. Tries to cut off all your resources.
 
6. Blames Others for Problems. If there are problems at school or work, it is always someone else’s fault. If anything goes wrong in the relationship, it is all your fault. Won’t take responsibility for own behavior.
 
7. Blames Others for Feelings. Tries to make you responsible for how they feel. "You’re making me mad." "You’re hurting me by not doing what I ask." "I can’t help being angry." Won’t take responsibility for own feelings.
 
8. Hypersensitivity. Easily insulted. Sees everything as a personal attack. Looks for fights. Blows things out of proportion. Unpredictable. You can never tell what will upset him.
 
9. Disrespectful or Cruel to Others. Punishes animals or children cruelly. Insensitive to pain and suffering. Teases children until they cry. Doesn’t treat others with respect. Dismissive of others’ feelings.
 
10. "Playful" Use of Force During Sexual Activity. Little concern over whether you want sex or not, and uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance. Makes sexual or degrading jokes about you.
 
11. Verbal Abuse of Any Kind.
 
12. Rigid Sex Roles. Believes women are inferior to men. Unable to be a whole person without a relationship.
 
13. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Sudden mood changes- like they have two personalities. One minute nice, next minute exploding. One minute happy, next minute sad.
 
14. Past Battering. You may hear the person was abusive to someone else. They say it’s a lie, or their ex was "crazy," or it wasn’t that bad.
 
15. Threats of Any Kind.
 
16. Breaking or Striking Objects. Breaks loved possessions. Beats on table with fists. Throws objects.
 
17. Any Force During an Argument. Pushes, shoves, or physically restrains you from leaving room.
 
18. Doesn’t Respect Your Property or Privacy.

 

The Mend Project does an excellent job explaining common traits of an abuser as well as how the cycle of abuse works. You can find that at Trauma Bonding Explained: Signs and How to Break the Bond

Anyone who truly wants to change can, but most abusers don't, mainly because many abusers are narcissists who don't think they need help. It's not easy to change and requires a serious commitment. Change for an abuser would require relinquishing power and control, which is exactly what abusers thrive on. Expert help from a specialty trained facility could give an abuser hope of change, but only if they truly wanted change and took the steps necessary to create that change. Unfortunately, this is rare, and research I've conducted reflects extremely poor results.

Absolutely. Stereotyping abusers/victims is wrong and dangerous. This discrimination makes victims less likely to come forward about their abuse or to seek help. Domestic violence doesn't discriminate.

In an article on Forbes, they report that "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the financial impact of domestic violence ranges from individual to societal. In fact, they say the lifetime economic cost associated with medical services, lost productivity from paid work, criminal justice, and other costs, was $3.6 trillion. The cost of domestic violence over a victim’s lifetime was $103,767 for women and $23,414 for men." These costs come from medical, disrupted education & ability to work, workplace sexual harassment in addition to the partner abuse, financial abuse & damaging credit, & reproductive coercion.

Case Western University describes how the US Government spends more than $55 Billion each year on the effect of childhood exposure to domestic violence. For more information on this, iwpr.org has a publication with a detailed report on The Economic Cost of Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking.

Speak out! Host an event or fundraiser for a your local advocates. Sign/create petitions or contact you public officials to encourage change. NNEDV.org has a link to learn more or take action here.

Search online for events that support domestic violence prevention. Call your local advocates and ask if you can do anything to help or make a donation.

NNEDV.org has a guide to help with conversations involving dv, “10 Tips to Have Informed Conversation about Domestic Violence” as well as a  Get Involved Toolkit with creative ways you can get involved in your community.

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast
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