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FACTS ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 

Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of abuse where one partner in an intimate relationship controls the other through force, intimidation, or the threat of violence.
 
Abuse comes in many forms:
 
    Physical:
 
    Kicking, punching, shoving, slapping, pushing, and any other acts which hurt your body. 

    Sexual: 
    Calling you vulgar names, criticizing your body parts or sensuality, forced     
    or pressured sexual acts, including rape. 

    Emotional:
 
    Assaults against your self-esteem Verbal: Name-calling, threats, put-downs.

    Psychological:
    Causing you to feel as if you are "going crazy".

    Financial:
 
    Controlling and manipulating by threatening your economic status and basic needs.

WHY DON'T ABUSED WOMEN JUST LEAVE THEIR ABUSERS?

  • She loves her partner.
  • It is the abuse she hates, not the abuser.
  • The relationship is not always bad; at times it is very good.
  • Her partner promises to change.
  • She wants to keep her family intact.
  • She does not define her experience as abuse.
  • She believes all relationships are like hers.
  • She may come from an abusive home and never have experienced any other type of relationship.
  • Her religion stresses the sanctity of marriage and the family.
  • She feels sorry for her partner.
  • She believes he can't help himself and that he needs her.
  • She believes the abuse is her fault and that she can find a way to make things right if only she tries hard enough.
  • She is ashamed of having other people find out she is abused.
  • She is afraid that no one will believe she is battered or abused because her partner is so nice to everyone else.
  • She feels she has no place to go if she leaves.
  • She is afraid to be alone. Many women have never lived by themselves.
  • She has been convinced that no one else will ever want her.
  • She has no job or money.
  • She is afraid she won’t be able to make it on her own
  • She is humiliated by the thought of having to go on welfare.
  • She is unaware of the social services available to her.
  • She may not trust the social service system.
  • She is unaware of her legal rights.
  • She fears she may be unable to protect or provide for her children.
  • Her partner threatens to take the children away.
  • She is afraid he will turn the children against her.
  • He keeps telling her she is crazy and she has begun to believe it.
  • He threatens to report her to “the authorities” as a bad parent.
  • He threatens to harm the children if she leaves.
  • She fears he will follow her and find her wherever she goes.
  • He threatens to kill himself if she leaves
  • He threatens to kill her.

 KEEP IN MIND

  • Despite what many people believe, domestic violence is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his behavior. In fact, violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to take control over his wife or partner.
  • Domestic Violence occurs among all types of families, regardless of income, profession, region, ethnicity, educational level or race. It is the leading cause of injury to women. You have the right to be safe.
  • Only the batterer has the ability to stop the violence. Battering is a behavioral choice for which the batterer must be held accountable. You cannot change the batterer’s behavior. Changes in the behavior of family members will not cause the batterer to stop the violence.
  • An abuser will do everything he can to make you feel bad about yourself, or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you're worthless and that no one else will want you, you're less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.
  • Women and children are not property. Domestic Violence is a crime in the United States. The abuser very often escalates from pushing and shoving to hitting in places where the bruises and marks will not show.

YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME

You are not to blame for the abuse no matter how it occurred or how you responded to it. No one ever has the right to abuse anyone else for any reason. You did not ask to be abused, no matter what you did or who abused you. No one ever wants to be abused.