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National Anti Abuse and Violence Awareness

Part 2 of Domestic Abuse or Violence

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National Anti Abuse and Violence Awareness

Anti Abuse and Violence Awareness and Prevention

 Part 2 of Domestic Abuse or Violence is a perfect topic for October, because it  is National Domestic and Abuse Awareness Month.

However, this is a topic to be address all year long – Every. Single. Day.

Why?

Every minute a child, a woman, a man is affected by this horrible circumstance at the hand of another.  This is part 2 in my series.  Remember that men, women and children can all victims.  Be aware of what others may be trying to tell you with words or actions as a cry for help.

To begin, continuing with information from the Multi Faith Leaders Conference, it is important to understand HOW a person gains control or exercises dominion over another. This chart helps explain how this is possible and the ways it can be done slowly over time also.  The language here is for a woman being abused, but remember that men are also and it is never ok, nor acceptable, in any form or manner.

Recognizing Power & Control vs. Equality Domestic Violence Wheels

Created by Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Duluth, MN

When Violence IS Used

 Abuse 6

This is how a healthy NON VIOLENT Relationship SHOULD Work

Abuse 7

    If you suspect abuse who do you report to:

  • Any Law Enforcement Agency
  • Any Peace Officer
  • Nearest Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) office

What do you report?:

  • Victim’s name
  • Victim’s age/date of birth (if known)
  • Victim’s current location
  • Victim’s home address (if known)
  • Allegation/concern

   ***It is very important to look after those who are vulnerable and cannot speak for them self; such as the very young, the elderly, etc. It is wise to use judgement when reporting an incident to have the facts and information so that the victim is not victimized more in the legal system or by the one(s) who are harming her in the first place. Some accusations or allegations generate cases that involve law enforcement, more than quickly than others might. These underlined types most often involve law enforcement.

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse/ Lewdness
  • Child Endangerment
  • Domestic Violence Related Child Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • All Types of Neglect: Physical, Environmental, Medical, and Dental.

SIGNS

What can you look for if you suspect someone is being abused?

Signs of Physical Abuse

  • Unexplained burns, cuts, bruises or welts in the shape of an object (belt, stick, hand, etc.)
  • Bite marks
  • Anti-social behaviors
  • Won’t interact with others
  • Seems withdrawn
  • Problems in school
  • Displays fear of adults
  • Hyper-vigilance, shows characteristics of ADD/ADHD

Signs of Sexual Abuse

  • Inappropriate interest or knowledge of sexual acts.
  • Nightmares or Bedwetting
  • Drastic changes in appetite
  • Over-compliance (goes overboard in trying to please) or excessive aggression
  • Fear of a particular person or family member
  • Suddenly refuses to participate in physical activities
  • Becomes pregnant or contracts an STD (particularly under age 14)
  • Runs away
  • Seductive behaviors

 

Signs of Emotional Abuse

  • Apathetic or passive behaviors
  • Depression
  • Hostility or stress
  • Lack of concentration
  • Eating Disorders (severe weight loss or rapid weight gain)
  • Age inappropriate behaviors (parents other children or is extremely immature

 

Signs of Neglect

  • Unsuitable clothing for weather
  • Dirty or other hygiene issues
  • Extreme hunger
  • Apparent lack of supervision
  • Frequently misses school
  • Begs or steals food or money
  • Lacks needed medical or dental care




Environmental Neglect & Child Endangerment Includes

  • An environment that poses a threat to the physical health or safety of a child
  • Cited DUIs with children in the vehicle.
  •  Homes where there are lab paraphernalia, chemicals for manufacturing of illegal drugs, access to illegal drugs, distribution of illegal drugs in the presence of a child, or loaded weapons in the reach of the child.
  •  Giving children illegal drugs or substances, alcohol, tobacco, or non prescribed/ not recommended medications for that child.
  • Involving a child in the commission of crimes, such as shoplifting.

  It is so important that we are aware and looking out for those that we live by, associate with, go to school with, work with and that our kids play with.  We may be the ones that can make all the difference in the life of another.  There is a site, Loveisrespect that is a fabulous resource for a wide range of questions and information regarding those who are being abused and want help, those who want to help someone who they suspect/know someone is being abused, as well as those who are the abuser and want to quit. At the LOVEISRESPECT.org site, there is a Chat line.  A Text line.  A Call line. 

In fact, an amazing amount of knowledge to help you and others all at the Loveisrespect.org site, click HERE for a direct link 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  



National Anti Abuse and Violence Awareness

Is There Domestic Abuse or Violence In Your Life? Part 1

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National Anti Abuse and Violence Awareness

Anti Abuse and Violence Awareness and Prevention

Is There Domestic Abuse or Violence In Your Life? 

Do you know someone who is trapped in this cycle as the perpetrator or the victim? 

Once a month the ladies in my church, as well as all women in the area who are invited and welcome, get together to learn, socialize – and eat of course.

At one of the meetings we were presented the same information given at a Multi Faith Leaders Conference which was centered on Domestic Violence Training.

I found it so informative and pertinent, that I asked for permission to pass it onto you. 

Adding to what I was given and heard that night, I have also included other information I found while doing some research on this important subject.

I hope you will read it and pass it on to anyone and everyone you can. 

You never know who is suffering in silence and just does not have the information of where to turn for help.  Possibly you, or someone you know is the abuser and wants to change, there is also help.  This is the first in this series.

Men can be abused as well as women, and it should be taken very seriously as well. Women never, ever have the right to mistreat men physically, emotionally or verbally. “Man-bashing” is terrible in all its forms and is to be shunned. For this post, I will focus on women for ease in writing and for my purpose here.

Years ago, I was able to help with a service project, again with ladies in my church and women in my area, as we remodeled a room at our local YWCA.  We took a little tour before beginning the job of cleaning, painting and such. 

An aspect that very much surprised me, was learning that there were Domestic Violence Shelters known as “safe-houses”.  These safe-houses were available in the area for women who were were in a life-threatening situation and running from their husband or boy-friend.  They and their children could stay at this safe-house for a time and get help from police and others.

It had not occurred to me before that, how complex the woman’s choices would be when trying to leave an abusive situation; here are a few scenarios:

  1. If the woman seeks shelter from family or friends the partner can easily track her down – meaning she puts them in danger and she realizes this gamble.
  2. Running to a ‘safe-house’,  there may not be room for her, which is a risk, and she may be turned away.
  3. If she were to move to her own place that would require her own money and independence, which is not common in an abusive situation.
  4. An abuser can keep the woman so isolated that she knows no one to go to for help, or has been isolated from family, or shut herself off from loved ones.
  5. Many run to the streets, and there be abused and violated, as much or more, as they were at home.

 To begin this series we will address understanding what abuse is and how to recognize it.

CRITICAL POINTS OF ABUSE

Domestic violence is never acceptable, it is a crime.

  • It is never deserved
  • Never ok
  • Never asked for
  • Never to be tolerated

Domestic violence is preventable.
If we will be involved and watch out for others and what is going on around us, we can be instrumental in reporting if necessary, or at least offering support and relief to others when we can see they need help.

Victims/survivors are not to blame.
It is NEVER the fault of the wounded. No matter what they said or did, it was never deserved.

Perpetrators are responsible for their own actions.
We all come to this earth with personalities, strengths, weaknesses and tests to overcome. However I believe that each person (that are able minded of course) has a conscience of right and wrong; which includes how to correctly treat others. A person can control their actions and words and has the responsibility to do so.

 

RECOGNIZING TYPES OF ABUSE

Physical Abuse:    Everything from shoving to hitting

Emotional Abuse:     Isolating, threatening, name-calling, demeaning

Sexual Abuse:     Forcing unwanted sex acts, forcing to watch pornography, use sex to demean or control

Spiritual Abuse:     Using scripture, doctrine, or dogma to justify abuse and control

 

CONTRIBUTING TRIGGERS TO ABUSE

Certain outside forces can promote anger and other emotions in an abuser, such as:

  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse (6 in 10 abuse cases are affected by these)
  • Apartment Dwellers (when it is a small, cramped, no privacy or yard is a large initiator)
  • Financial Problems
  • Infidelity
  • Holidays
  • Uncontrolled Anger/Rage
  • Unmarried Partners with Prior Relationships (70%)
  • Untreated Mental Illness

 

RECOGNIZING WARNING SIGNS

Offenders May:

  • Appear attentive and protective…when actually being jealous and controlling
  • Make the decisions about how and when the family worships
  • Have a history of violent and abusive acts, such as destroying property, harming pets, etc.
  • Use the premise of the patriarchal role within the family to rationalize abusive behavior

 

Victims May:

  • Seem quiet, devoted and dutiful…but may actually feel frightened, and isolated because of threats and abusive behavior
  • Have injuries and/or illnesses which may increase in frequency and/or severity
  • Tend to minimize the situation
  • Feel uncomfortable and make excuses if you approach them about the abuse

 

RECOGNIZE FACTORS THAT PROMOTE OR FUEL BARRIERS HINDERING A WOMAN IN LEAVING AN ABUSIVE SITUATION, OR EVEN REPORTING IT

Here are some of the reasons a woman (or man) may not leave a situation of abuse, even when their life is in danger.  Frustrating as it may be to an outsider, it makes sense to the abused:

  • Children
  • Money/financial dependency
  • Need for companionship
  • Hopes abuse will stop- that abuser will change”
  • Commitment to relationship
  • LOVE (or what is construed as love)
  • Doesn’t want to feel like a failure. Guilt.
  • Stigma of divorce
  • Fear of being alone, doesn’t want to start over
  • Low self-esteem
  • The cycle of violence is familiar
  • The unknown is scarier than the known
  • Threats of suicide/harm/harassment by abuser
  • Pressure from or lack of support from family, friends or church
  • Wants to preserve reputation
  • Single parenting an unattractive alternative
  • Sex/affection is good some of the time
  • Apologies/crying from abuser
  • Lack of awareness that it’s ok to leave
  • Victim doesn’t recognize behavior as abuse
  • No support system
  • Nowhere else to go




THERE ARE RED FLAGS TO WATCH FOR IN A RELATIONSHIP

From LoveIsRespect.org: It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.

In fact, many abusers may seem absolutely perfect on the surface — as if they are the dream partner — in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.

If you’re beginning to feel as if your partner or a loved one’s partner is becoming abusive, there are a few behaviors that you can look out for. Watch out for these red flags and if you’re experiencing one or more of them in your relationship, call The Hotline to talk about what’s going on:

  • Embarrassing or putting you down
  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing your friends or families
  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
  • Preventing you from working or attending school
  • Blaming you for the abuse, or acting like it’s not really happening
  • Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidating you  with guns, knives or other weapons
  • Shoving, slapping, choking or hitting you
  • Attempting to stop you from pressing charges
  • Threatening to commit suicide because of something you’ve done
  • Threatening to hurt or kill you
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
  • Preventing you from using birth control or pressuring you to become pregnant when you’re not ready

Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partners.  If you’re concerned about some of these things happening in your relationship, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

 The National Domestic Violence site has many resources to help, click HERE for more information.

How can I help my Friend?  What if my friend is the Abuse and needs help? 

Click HERE for informationAbuse in all of its forms is hideous and does not have a place in a loving and caring home or relationship.

Too often a person may have grown up with the same treatment and thinks it is the way to act, or to be acted upon.  I will continue with this topic to give information and resources, in the hopes that suffering will stop, mistreatment and cruelty that has been perpetrated (even for generations) will cease, and coarse and harsh language and words in a relationship and family will stop all together.

Can you imagine the change if families only knew safety, love, righteous teachings and the path to true happiness?  We can find our way there, I know we can! Together, as we watch out to help others, then have the courage to do what is needed so peace, calm and joy can be in the life of every child, woman and man.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today