Many myths surround domestic violence. Some believe it only happens to other people. Unfortunately, it can happen to anyone. Our society - and often victims - has traditionally overlooked, denied or excused the problem.
Domestic violence occurs when someone uses a pattern of physical, sexual and/or emotionally abusive behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner or family member. Abusers use fear, guilt, shame and intimidation techniques to keep victims under control. Abusers often escalate from verbal abuse and threats to physical violence. Physical violence, or the threat of, is the most immediate danger but the long-term emotional and psychological consequences are severe.
Knowing and acknowledging the warning signs and symptoms of domestic violence is the first step.
No one should be abused or live in fear... Help is available!
Indicators of an Abusive Relationship
Does Your Partner?
- Act excessively jealous and possessive?
- Control where you go, what you do or how you dress?
- Keep you from seeing family and friends?
- Limit your access or try to control what you do with money, computer, phone, or car?
- Constantly check up on you?
- Have a "scary" or unpredictable temper?
- Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
- Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
- Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
- Force you to have sex?
- Damage your poperty or things that are very important to you?
- Humiliate or yell at you?
- Call you names, Criticize, and put you down?
- Embarrass you in front of your friends or family?
- Ignore or dismiss your opinions/accomplishments?
- Blame you for their own abusive behavior?
- See you as property or a sex object?
- Feel afraid most of the time?
- Avoid certain topics because you fear the response?
- Feel you can't do anything right for your partner?
- Wonder if you're the one who is crazy?
- Feel emotionally numb or helpless?
- Want the abuse to stop?
- Want your partner to get help but feel helpless?
- Feel like your partner blames you all the time for his/her behavior?
- Feel scared to leave but scared to stay?
What To Do?
- Call 911 immediately
- Call Safeplace, local domestic violence and sexual assault center 24 hour line (360) 754-6300
- Call the Crisis Line 1-800-627-2211
- Call The Family and Juvenile Court to obtain your own civil protection order (360) 709-3275
- Call our Victim Assistance Coordinator (360) 753-8404 if police were called on your partner or your partner was arrested (8am—5pm) for additional assistance
- Talk with a trusted friend or family member (not related to your partner)
- Whether you leave or stay with your partner, having a safety plan is critical! It is NOT your fault!
- You are not alone
- It is NOT your fault
- Help is available
- Domestic violence is a CRIME!