October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to cause fear and gain control over another person. It may involve verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, financial and spiritual forms of abuse.
Abuse comes in many forms:
- Verbal and emotional abuse include name calling, ridicule, derogatory comments, blaming, false accusations, lying, jealousy, causing public embarrassment, anger/rage, tantrums, threats, intimidation, yelling, crazy-making behaviors, harassment, criticizing personal appearance, criticizing family and friends, interfering with work, school and appointments, bossy controlling behaviors, silent treatment and similar behaviors.
- Physical abuse includes slapping, kicking, choking, pinching, biting, pulling hair, burning, tying up, using a weapon, physical restraint, throwing objects, destroying property, reckless driving to cause fear, all forms of sexual abuse, including groping, assault and rape.
- Financial abuse includes taking sole control of the money to the degree that the other person has to ask for necessities, denying the freedom to work, forcing to work then taking all the money, making secret financial decisions that jeopardize family stability, blaming financial problems on others, buying unnecessary things while the basic needs of others are not met.
- Spiritual abuse includes using scripture and words like “submission” and “obey” to maintain power and control, asserting spiritual superiority and domination in a relationship, or denying the right to attend church or religious activities or to read the Bible.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Please call 911 in an emergency.