By: Amelia Lin
Domestic violence does not discriminate. In the US alone, more than 10 million men and women are victims to this harm. However, what these statistics hide is the full impact that domestic violence has on an individual or on a family. In these situations, mental health is put completely on the line, not to mention financial stability, safety, and life itself.
Perhaps the hardest part of it all is how difficult it is to report domestic violence. If getting out of a violent relationship were easy, these numbers would not exist. Even identifying domestic violence is a challenge on its own because the abusers are people close to you, people who you trust. They may justify their actions by making you feel ashamed or deserving of the violence you’re receiving. They may apologize again and again but continue to cause harm. It becomes a toxic cycle that needs to end.
The violence itself comes in many forms. Some physical signs include the following:
- Yelling and throwing objects
- Locking you out of the house
- Denying you necessities like food or medical care
- Physically harming you, whether it’s punching, kicking, slapping, etc.
Domestic violence can also be heavily emotional:
- Criticizing how you look or forcing you to look a certain way
- Making you feel helpless or small
- Cutting you off from friends, family, or other people
- Forcing you to ask permission to go places
The red flags of domestic abuse can fill up an entire page, but the bottom line is, if a partner, parent, or guardian at home is repeatedly causing you pain, this is not the life you deserve. And, the most important thing to keep in mind is, you are not alone. You are surrounded by millions who are suffering the same violence and millions more who found a way out.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: