Presented by BetterHelp.
Domestic violence carries serious dangers. It is a serious problem that can never be justified. If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, there are certain steps to follow to make sure that you stay safe.
Read on to learn more about domestic violence, its dangers, and how you and your loved ones can stay safe.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Put simply, domestic violence typically refers to violence carried out at home (a domestic space). That said, it could happen anywhere if it is occurring between two people who have a relationship (whether that’s as romantic partners or parent-child, etc.).
Domestic violence is commonly thought of as physical abuse, but this is just one possibility. There is also sexual abuse, emotional abuse, even financial abuse (e.g. withholding money).
Domestic violence tends to affect women more than men, making it a women’s health issue and a question of female empowerment to stand up against abuse.
Many reasons can cause domestic abuse, though none of them are legitimate justifications. It could stem from alcohol or substance use disorder, culturally driven feelings of entitlement, discrimination, and other factors.
To stop domestic abuse, it is essential that people learn about the issue so they can recognize it and get help. People who have been abused in this way often face serious mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
If you would like more resources on domestic violence, consider the helpful free offerings from BetterHelp.
Steps to Take Following Domestic Abuse
It’s Not Your Fault
Domestic abuse is never your fault! It may be tempting, but do your best to not take any responsibility for the abuse. Some perpetrators of domestic abuse may destroy the self-esteem of their victim and gaslight them into thinking it’s their fault, but this is simply manipulation.
It’s vital to speak up about your abuse. This may be incredibly difficult, and you may even be scared for your life, but the sooner the speak up the sooner you can get help and the resources you need. Consider a trusted friend, family member, or go to the police. You can also use online hotlines as a resource.
If you have been abused and there is evidence of it, you should take care to safely document it. This way you will have proof of the abuse and a better chance at bringing the perpetrator to justice. Audio or video recordings can be particularly condemning.
Try a Helpline
A domestic violence hotline can be an excellent way to get the help you need. First off, you won’t feel so alone. Second, you’ll be sure to receive good advice depending on your situation. Finally, these hotlines are free and meant to help people just like you. Try using Google to find one most relevant for you by searching for your location + “domestic violence hotline.”
No relationship should have any traces of abuse. If you are in an abusive relationship, it’s in your best interest to get out immediately. While this may be quite challenging, it is essential for your health and the health of your children (if you have any). To get help with leaving, try close friends and family who would be willing to take you in or help you stay in a hotel. Anywhere is better than in the abuser’s home.
Domestic violence generally affects women more than men. In this way, domestic abuse is a women’s health problem. If we all better understand domestic violence and its dangers, we’ll be better equipped to recognize it and help people who are in need.
Keep your eyes open and do your best to help others. And if you yourself are facing abuse, get help today.