In light of the recent incident with Ray Rice, we think it is important to make all women aware of signs of domestic violence. Domestic abuse is more common than one may think with 1 in 4 women experiencing physical violence, sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner. (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs-fact-sheet-2014.pdf). African American women are 35% more likely than white women to experience domestic violence (http://www.nhcadsv.org/uploads/woc_domestic-violence.pdf). Domestic violence knows no color, economic status, or educational attainment. In fact, men can even be victims of domestic violence. With this in mind here are 5 signs that you could be in a domestic violence relationship:
1. Isolation. He begins to isolate you from your family and friends. This is a warning. The abuser will often accuse your family and friends as being “trouble makers” and start to place the blame on them for the troubles in your relationship.
2. Too fast, too soon. Abusers normally rush into relationships and will attempt to make you feel guilty if you want to slow things down. This is another way abusers begin to play mind games with their spouses.
3. Jealousy. An abuser often becomes unnecessarily jealous and possessive of you. Do not be flattered by this behavior. A secure partner does not need to know his spouse’s whereabouts all the time. Of course you pay common courtesy but no adult needs to check-in.
4. He speaks disrespectfully to you. He calls you names, cusses and screams at you. This is verbal abuse. There are enough words in the English vocabulary, so he does not need to cuss, and he does not need to scream. You are not hard of hearing.
5. He uses money to control you. He uses money to get you to do things you do not want to do or he threatens to leave you hanging with bills and etc. if you do not do as he says.
Domestic violence is more than being physically or sexually assaulted. It is more than verbal abuse. It is a game of power and control. Abusers get high off of the control and power they have over their partners. It is a sadistic game they play. If you are noticing these signs in your relationship, please seek help. Contact your local police department or call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.
Domestic violence can affect your health, emotional well-being and can lead to your death. Please seek help.