Domestic violence is nasty
business. Since domestic violence incidents occur every twelve
seconds in America and 1.3 million women (representing between 91% -
95% of all documented cases) are abused each year, it has a
devastating impact upon families, neighborhoods, businesses and our
Domestic violence knows no
boundaries; neither socio-economic status, race, ethnicity,
religion, age, nor education. All women are at risk and should be
aware of some clues that often precede abusive behavior, exhibited
by a person who:
Grew up in an abusive
family, where violence was deemed “normal” behavior.
Uses force to solve
problems; a fighter/tough guy.
Is quick- tempered.
overreacts to life’s occasional problems and frustrations,
punches walls and throws things when upset.
Abuses alcohol and/or
drugs. Violence is never caused by alcohol or drug use; these
are 2 separate problems. But there is a strong link
between violence and drug abuse and abusers try to use it as an
excuse for their behavior.
Is jealous of your other
relationships and tries to isolate you; calls you frequently to
check on your whereabouts.
Talks of getting even with
those who anger him; has access to guns and/or knives.
Has extreme mood swings
from being kind to being cruel; as though he was 2 different
Embarrasses or makes fun
of you in front of friends or family.
Puts down your
accomplishments or goals.
Treats you roughly; grabs,
pushes, pinches, shoves or hits you.
Hoping will not make this
problem go away. Abusers do not “grow out” of this behavior, if left
unchecked. In fact, episodes of battering events escalate with the
passing of time as does the severity. Abusers control their victims
by using emotional, economical, physical and physiological
approaches. Often fear and hopelessness force the victim into
submission and/or depression; which in no way ends the abuse. This
problem requires professional help.
It is tempting to accuse a
battered woman of being a fool or coward for not leaving her abusive
partner. Unfortunately, that is an unkind assessment and very wrong.
Women don’t leave because they are frightened and often lack the
wherewithal to find a safe haven in which to support themselves
and/or their children. And more importantly, facts suggest that more
women are killed by their partners AFTER they leave the relationship
than at any other time.
Tough laws have been passed to
address Domestic Violence but the battle is far from being won. We
must collectively unify our efforts to promote safe, respectful and
equitable relationships, increase victims’ access to support systems
and help the survivors of abuse in later life.
If you or someone you know is
a victim of domestic violence, please call the Delaware County
Sheriff’s Office at 607-746-2336 or Safe Against Violence at
1-866-457-7233 or 746-6278 (both are 24-hour hot lines.) We will
start the process of providing help.
If you are not a victim of
domestic violence, please remain vigilant and compassionate.