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Domestic Violence Defined Domestic violence: intimate partner violence or battering are all terms used to describe a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors used to control or manipulate a person within a context of a relationship.
These tactics used to abuse someone may include: Physical violence Psychological abuse Emotional abuse Sexual violence Financial harm Isolation Intimidation Threats Stalking Deprivation
Domestic Violence Can be… Physical: Hitting, pushing, biting, punching, choking... Emotional: cursing swearing, attacks on self-esteem, blaming, criticizing your thoughts feelings…. Psychological: Threatening, throwing, smashing, breaking things, punching walls, hiding things, sabotaging your car. Sexual: any non-consenting sexual act or behavior It is important to note that many examples can be put into more than one category.
Myths Battering is rare. Only some people experience it. Men who batter are very mean, scuzzy, and “skid row” types. They hate everybody. Battered individuals are always uneducated, “lower class” or working class, or poor. Battered individuals are from minority groups, who don’t know any better. Battered individuals always look beat up. They look abused and assaulted. You can always tell who they are.
Facts 1. Statistics on the prevalence of the problem indicate that domestic violence is a worldwide epidemic. Studies show that between one quarter and one half of all women in the world have been abused by intimate partners. Worldwide, 40-70% of all female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner. 2. All types of people can batter. People who batter are often gentle, loving, neat, clean, and successful in many areas of their lives. It is very common for people to believe that the men who batter are unattractive, uneducated and look like batterers but the truth is they can be good friends, good parents and people that are well liked at work and in their communities. Their battering only occurs at home with their most intimate partner. 3. Battered people are from all groups in our country. Race, lack of education or wealth, and social background do not make battered women. Many rich, educated, and well-to-do individuals have been abused. 4. Most abused individuals are not beat up everyday. They often go out of their way to hide their injuries and scares.
Facts Domestic violence is a pervasive issue and often a life- threatening crime that affects millions of individuals across the World regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, sexual orientation or education. High-profile cases of domestic violence will attract headlines, but thousands of people experience domestic abuse every day. They come from all walks of life. People who batter make it very difficult for victims to escape relationships. Sadly, many survivors suffer from abuse for decades.
Recognizing Domestic Violence- Warning Signs 1)Charm: In the beginning, people who abuse can seem very charming. The person can be very engaging, thoughtful, considerate and charismatic and may use that charm to gain very personal information about the other person. 2)Isolation: People who batter often isolate their victims geographically and socially. Geographic isolation includes physically stopping the victim from seeing other people- demanding that they stay home all day. Social isolation usually begins with wanting the victim to spend time with them and not her family, friends or co-workers. The abuser will slowly isolate the victim from any person who is a support. They may even dictate whom the abused person can talk to.
3) Jealousy: Jealousy is a tool used to control the victim. It may take the form of constant accusations of an affair. The victim may be constantly accused of having an affair. People who batter routinely call their victims whores or sluts. 4) Emotional Abuse: Constant emotional abuse destroys the self- esteem of the person who is being abused. Emotional abuse includes blaming her for his violence, name calling and making threats against her. Over time, the victim may come to believe these messages, that they are at fault for the abuse. The emotional abuse can be just as bad as physical abuse.
5) Control: Abusive people are very controlling. In time, an abusive person may try to control all aspects of another’s life: when they talk to their family, who they are friends with, when they go to the store. Although an abuser may appear to be out of control when upset, they are usually in control of their decisions. For example, the abuser often waits until there are no witnesses to abuse, or will purposefully hit the victim where people can not see the evidence of the abuse.
Commonly Asked Questions…. Why do people sometimes stay in or return to abusive relationships? There are many reasons why a person may not end an abusive relationship, leave an abusive home, or why s/he returns to an abusive relationship. Oftentimes the person who is being battered will desire for the abuse to end, but not necessarily the relationship to end. People who batter are very good at making their victims think that the abuse is their fault. They may also promise to change their behavior. In addition to blaming the partner for their abusive behavior, they may also blame outside stresses (lack of job, children, financial problems, etc). The person being battered will often hope that the violence will end if s/he is a better partner, if the financial situation improves, if the children are better behaved, etc. Additionally, many survivors will stay in a relationship because of a desire to keep a family intact. It can also be very hard for someone to leave. That person may not have access to the financial resources needed to leave. Another way people who batter maintain their control is through the use of fear and intimidation. People who batter have threatened to hurt or kill their victims or their children if the victim leaves. (Adapted from the National Network to End Domestic Violence website)
She may love her abuser since he may be more often loving than abusive. She may fear he will carry out his threats to kill her or the children. She may fear losing custody of her children. She probably suffers from low self-esteem because of his abuse and feels like a failure for not being able to stop it. She may feel that the abuse is deserved or it is her fault. She may have cultural or religious beliefs that keep her in the relationship. She may feel that the children need their father or she is incapable of raising them as a single parent. She may believe that she cannot survive emotionally without her partner and fears being alone She may be financially dependent on her partner and lacking in job skills. She may be so exhausted from dealing with the abuse on a daily basis that she is unable to make major decisions or changes. Why someone may stay….
Commonly Asked Questions…. How does the economy affect domestic violence? A weak economy does not cause domestic violence to occur, but can make it worse. The severity and frequency of abuse can increase when factors associated with a bad economy are present. Job loss, housing problems, debt, and other factors contribute to higher stress levels at home, which can lead to increased violence. Additionally, as the violence gets worse, a weak economy limits options for survivors to seek safety or escape. Survivors may also have a more difficult time finding a job to become financially independent of abusers. (Adapted from the National Network to End Domestic Violence website)
Commonly Asked Questions…. Are men victims of domestic violence? Yes, men are sometimes victims of domestic abuse. Studies indicate that about 85 percent of the victims were female with a male batterer. The other 15 percent includes intimate partner violence in gay and lesbian relationships and men who were battered by a female partner. One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime. Women are 90-95 percent more likely to suffer domestic violence than are men
Teen Dating Abuse… It’s More Common Than You Think
Why is abuse common in Teen Dating? Peer approval and peer pressure Gender role expectations Lack of experience in relationships Substance abuse
Warning Signs of an Abusive teenager relationship Calling her/him names Buying her/him a pager or cell phone and expecting them to return the phone call immediately Monopolizing all of her/his time Isolating her/him from family, friends, and outside interests Making him or her feel insecure Blaming him or her for things going wrong Jealousy, Control, possessiveness Forcing others to use drugs or alcohol Forcing Sex
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What you can do if you need help, or to help others….. Resources in Ukraine: The Women’s Center in Kyiv provides psychological and legal counseling for women victims of violence, operates a hotline and also runs the only state-sponsored shelter for women in Ukraine. The shelter has been operating since 1998 and has 15 beds Three Women for Women Centers were created by the NIS-US Women’s Consortium in partnership with local women’s NGOs.102 These centers are located in Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk. In addition to the hotlines mentioned above, the Centers also provide free legal counseling, job skills and entrepreneurship trainings for women, and domestic violence seminars for women victims of violence. Each Center employs a full-time lawyer to provide free legal assistance to women experiencing domestic violence. Women calling the hotline are most commonly advised to visit the Women for Women Center for psychological and legal counseling and to take part in the training seminars on domestic violence organized by the Center’s staff.
What is Safety Planning? Safety Planning is a way for you to consider what is best for you to do in an unsafe situation. Everyone’s personal safety plan can be different. The following slides have some questions people can consider when making your safety plan. Not all of the questions will apply to all people and that is okay.
Questions to help Safety Plan a.If I need to leave for the day, I will _________________________________. (Practice how to get out safely. What doors, windows, etc) b.I can keep my purse and car keys ready and put them _____________ to leave quickly c.I can keep a bag ready and put it______________________ so I can leave quickly. d.I can tell ________________________________ about the violence and have them call the police when violence erupts. e.I can teach my children to use the telephone to call the police. f.If it's not safe to talk openly, I will use ______________ as the code word/signal to my children that we are going to go, or to my family or friends that we are coming. g.I will use _______________ as my code word with my children or my friends so they will call for help. h.If I have to leave my home, I will go ________________________________. (Be prepared even if you think you will never have to leave.) i.I can teach these strategies to my children. j.When I expect my partner and I are going to argue, I will try to move to a space that is lowest risk, such as _________. (Try to avoid arguments in the bathroom, garage, kitchen, near weapons or in rooms without an outside exit.)
Questions to help Safety Plan k.I will use my instincts, intuition, and judgment. I will protect myself and my children until we are safe l.I will check with_________________________ and ______________________ to know who will let me stay with them or who will lend me money. m.If I have to leave my home, I will go to ____________________. If I cannot go to the above location, I can go to ________________________. n.I will review my safety plan every ________________ (time frame) in order to plan the safest route. I will review the plan with ______________________________ (a friend, counselor or advocate.) o.If I am going to use, I am going to do it in a safe place with people who understand the risk of violence and who are committed to my safety. p.I can also______________________________ q.If my partner is using, I can ___________________________________________________ r.If I have left my partner and am considering returning, I will call ____________________ or spend time with __________ before I make a decision. s.If I am feeling down, lonely or confused, I can call __________________ or the domestic violence hotline _________________. t.When I have to talk to my partner in person or on the phone, I can _________________________ u.I will use "I can..." statements and I will be assertive with people. v.I can tell myself "______________________" when I feel people are trying to control or abuse me. w.I can call the following people and/ or places for support: _________________________________ x.If I have concerns about my children's health and well-being, I can call ____________________. y.I will remind myself daily of my best qualities. They are: _____________________________ z.I will look at how and when I drink alcohol or use other drugs. If I need help around I can call __________. *.Other things I can do to feel stronger are: ________________________________________________.
What you can do to prevent domestic violence Teach your children non-violence ways of resolving conflicts. Show your children and others by example that violence is never okay. Be aware of the indicators of domestic violence, if you notice them in a person, ask her about it in a private and appropriate moment. Seek out healthy relationships and be a healthy person to be in a relationship with.
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