More than 2,000,000 women and 800,000 men are affected by domestic violence.Domestic abuse is a very serious problem today and no one should have to deal with it, ever, no matter what your partner has led you to believe. Domestic violence can cause homelessness, injury or even death of the victims. It can strike couples not matter their age, race, religion, sexual orientation or economic status. If you are being abused, there is help out there for you.
Domestic abuse can get out of hand very quickly. One minute the abuse can be explosive with physical altercations (even sexual abuse) and the next minute the abuser is making promises that it will never happen again. Most times, this cycle will go on and on and never end until someone stops it or something very bad happens. Victims of domestic violence often believe that the abuse is their fault.
Although there is no specific cause for domestic violence, it is often associated with alcohol and drug abuse. Domestic violence is based on control and abusers feel like they need to be in control of their victims at all times. This fear often escalates when teh abuser is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This behavior is very difficult to change without the assistance of professional help.
The first step is to get to you and your family away from the abuser and to a safe place. It is a very important to have a safety plan in place in case you need to get away immediately. The safety plan should include things such as having a cell phone on you at all times, a change of clothes, emergency phone numbers and as much cash as possible.
There are laws against domestic abuse and you shouldn’t hesitate to call the police if you are in danger. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be able to get a restraining order agains your partner.
If you are being physically abused and need help, there are many places that are available to help you. Some of the places that you can contact to give you a good start in getting the help you deserve include:
• American Domestic Violence Crisis Line
• National Domestic Violence Hotline
• National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
• Safe Horizon
Even if you aren’t ready to end your abusive relationship, these agencies can give you useful information and allow you to become familiar with the resources that are available in your community to help you when you are ready.