Surviving Domestic Violence: Be a Survivor

By Haesue Jo posted 15 days ago

The occurrence of domestic violence in the United States is staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of women who were killed by a domestic partner in the US doubles that of American soldiers killed in the Middle East as casualties of war. However, you hear more about the war casualties than the women who lost their lives to loved ones. Domestic violence is too often pushed under the rug and treated like a commonality because it happens so often. In fact, one out of four women are victims of domestic violence of some kind, and three women are killed by their partner every day. Why does this happen so often, and what can be done to stop it?


What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse, or domestic violence, is a pattern of behavior such as physical or sexual assault, battery, or other abuse used by one of the individuals in a relationship to get control of the other. This is often used to gain and maintain power over the other partner in the relationship. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence refers to this violence as an epidemic that can affect anyone no matter their ethnic group, religion, race, gender, sexual preference, age, or economic position. Although the majority of the victims (85%) of domestic abuse are women, men have also been known to be victims. It doesn't matter who you are if you are in an abusive relationship; you need to get help.


Why Not Just Leave?
Many people might wonder, “Why don’t you just leave?” However, it’s usually not that simple. More often than not, the abuser is able to control and manipulate by using physical as well as mental abuse to convince a victim it’s better to stay. The abuser will often isolate the victim and control the finances so the victim has no money, no vehicle, and nowhere to go. Your friends have already been scared away. Your abuser has spent years convincing you that nobody else would ever want you. Your abuser has threatened to take the children away or tell the police that you are a bad parent. You have been brainwashed into thinking that it is your fault, and that maybe if you are really nice and keep the house really clean that everything will be better. Finally, when you try to leave, your partner will either cry and say it will never happen again, or they will threaten you or someone you love. It’s usually not that simple.


Why Does It Happen?
In many cases, the victim is suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some women blame themselves so much that they consider suicide. If you or someone you know is being abused or you think you may be being abused, you want might to consider getting some help right now. Do not wait to see if it gets better, because chances are it won’t. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone about your situation. Once you are able to admit to yourself that you are being abused and that you need help, it gets easier. However, if you feel you are in imminent danger, call 911 immediately. It is essential that you get help so you do not become a statistic.



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