Twelve years ago, I embarked on a job opportunity that would forever change my life. I accepted a position with a small domestic violence agency in Western, Pennsylvania. For five years I worked toward the safe elimination of domestic violence through intervention, prevention and collaboration. How about that? I can still spit out our mission!
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Simply put, domestic violence is a pattern where the abuser continuously seeks to gain control over their victim. How does the abuser gain control? Tactics such as physical abuse (hitting, kicking, slapping), emotional abuse (name calling, belittling), sexual abuse (forcing sex, accusations of cheating/jealousy), and financial abuse (forcing partner to quit working, controlling the finances).
There are so many dynamics that go into domestic violence. As I said, it’s a cycle that goes something like this. Your partner sweeps you off of your feet. This is called the honeymoon stage. Next, you may have a few arguments and fits of jealousy. This is the tension building stage. Last is the blow up stage. This is when the abuse is at its worst. Then what does the abusive partner do? Promise to never do it again, and then you’re headed right back into the honeymoon phase.
I’m sure we all can think back to an incident that didn’t seem quite right, but couldn’t put our finger on what the issue was. I’d like to challenge all of my readers to learn more about domestic violence. 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetimes. Learn the warning signs. Learn how you can assist; be a resource.
Domestic Violence Resources: