Stop Violence Against Women
Are you (or someone you know) in an abusive relationship?
Click here to download and print the handout version of this article
Abuse has many faces.
If he pushes, punches, chokes, kicks, Burns, bites, spits, shoots, or stabs you...
That's PHYSICAL ABUSE.
If he engages in unwanted touching, sexual name-calling, uses violence with sex, is unfaithful, or forces you to have sex...
That's SEXUAL ABUSE.
If he uses jokes to demean, constantly criticizes, labels you as "crazy", "stupid", a "bitch" or "whore", plays mind games, or humiliates you...
If he threatens to harm, leave, kidnap the children, commit suicide, report you to immigration/ welfare, forces you to drop criminal charges or commit illegal acts...
If he uses looks, action, and gestures to intimidate you, destroys property, abuses pets, displays weapons or stalks you...
If he doesn't allow you to see or speak with family or friends, denies you access to the car, or limits your contact with the outside world...
If he makes light of the abuse, denies it happened, or blames others for abuse...
That's EMOTIONAL ABUSE.
If he prevents you from getting/keeping a job, denies you access to family income, gives you an allowance, makes you ask for money and account for all spending...
That's ECONOMIC ABUSE.
"The Cycle of Violence"
Tension building Phase: She feels as though she "is walking on eggshells"or waiting for the "bomb to drop." He is edgy, moody & easily agitated; there is an air of heightened anxiety.
Explosive/Acute Phase: This is the most violent stage: concentrated, intense physical or verbal abuse; an explosion of the tension described.
Honeymoon Phase: He says, "I'm sorry, I'll never do it again." He may blame her for his actions with, "If you wouldn't...I wouldn't get angry." He wants to 'make up'. Her feelings range from guilt to confusion to anger; believes him & the cycle continues.
Then the cycle repeats itself.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior intended to exert power & total control in an intimate relationship. It's REAL...and it's a CRIME.
To be SAFE -- it's important to develop Safety Plans.
If you can't do 'everything' listed, do as much as you can.
Think of it as a Circle of Safety.
Safety while Staying with an Abuser
Safety when Leaving an Abuser
Safety After you Leave an Abuser
Be SAFE... GO FOR HELP:
Tell someone:a trusted family member/friend, your doctor or a counselor, church or religious group, seek legal help through Legal Aid or a lawyer.
Nationwide Domestic Violence Hotline:
This National Domestic Violence Hotline can link you to resources that can help -- including shelters, counseling centers, and legal service providers in your community.
CALL TOLL FREE: 1 (800) 799-SAFE (7233) / 1 (800) 787-3224 (TTY for the Deaf)
This article and handout courtesy of The National Self-Defense Institute's Terri Harris.
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