What is Domestic Violence? And What can I do about it?

By definition, domestic violence is behavior used by one person in a relationship to try and control the other person in the relationship. Domestic violence happens in any form of relationship from marital, gay or lesbian, living together to simply dating. Examples of domestic violence include but are not limited to: name calling, put downs, not allowing their partner to contact family or friends, withholding money, not allowing their partner to hold a job, actual physical harm, threatened physical harm, sexual assault, stalking and intimidation. Domestic violence can take many different forms as you can see and can happen often or once in a while. The victim tends to have physical consequences in the form of broken bones and cuts scrapes and bruises. The victim tends to have emotional consequences in the form of stress fear and anxiety. The victim tends to even have financial consequences due to their abuse in the form of their limited autonomy causing them hardship when trying to take care of themselves. The partner in the relationship that is being abused isn’t the only one who can have long lasting negative effects. Children who witness domestic violence tend to have developmental and psychological welfare problems.

What is unfortunate is that a lot of the time a person doesn’t recognize that they are being abused. This is just simply unacceptable. The first step anybody can do to stop domestic violence is to recognize it. Once the problem is recognized then steps can be taken to help resolve the situation. If you have been abused consider talking to someone that is close to you such as a family member. Often they can give you the confidence and support you need to report the abuse to the necessary authorities. If ever you feel in grave danger contact the police.

Although this might seem scary they can help and protect you when they arrive. They have the ability to assist you and any children to leave the home safely. If there is enough evidence that abuse has taken place, they can even arrest the abuser. Always give the police plenty of details when they come. Tell them exactly what the abuser did to you and show them marks if applicable. If bruises and marks show up days later, take pictures to document for court purposes. If there isn’t enough evidence to arrest your abuser often you can go to court and get a protective order preventing the abuser from coming anywhere near your home, work, or school. This is often a great idea to try and obtain and can be aided in obtaining by a Minnesota domestic violence lawyer.

In addition to obtaining a protective order it might be helpful to get in touch with havens that are specifically set up for domestic abuse victims to help you get back on your feet since this kind of emotional and physical abuse is very detrimental to an individual’s self confidence. Also be sure to get any necessary medical care that you may need. Pay particular attention to memory loss, dizziness, problems with eyesight, throwing up and headaches that won’t go away as results from any physical abuse. So if you notice anyone you care for being abused by domestic violence take a stand and stop it.

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