Domestic Violence: Abuse Signs, Awareness, & Helpful Tips

by Jenn

Domestic violence is anytime a person is hurt – pushed, hit, controlled, threatened, forced, taken advantage of, degraded, insulted, frightened, or abused financially.  Sadly those who are affected by domestic violence don’t often talk about it, whether they are scared to, worried, or embarrassed it’s a conversation that needs to be had.  Those who are victims of domestic violence may feel like they are powerless.   If you are someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or showing signs of abuse here are a few helpful tips, but regardless of whether you know someone or not domestic violence is something NOBODY should experience and we hope you’ll join us and help spreading awareness.

Domestic Violence Abuse Signs, Awareness, & Helpful TipsDomestic Violence: Abuse Signs, Awareness, & Helpful Tips

It’s hard to know what happens to those we care about when doors are closed and they don’t tell us, but there can be signs of domestic violence.  

Domestic Violence Warning Signs

  • Afraid to please their spouse
  • Does everything their partner tell them?
  • Doesn’t do things because their partner doesn’t let them
  • Mentions their spouse is jealous, or possessive.
  • Often has visible injuries and blames them on accidents.
  • Low self-esteem, depressed, or personality changes.
  • Misses appointments, work, or social outings for no reason.
  • Dress to hide any cuts, bruises or scars they may have.  (Not willing to take off sunglasses)
  • Checks in with their partner before doing anything, or reporting to them what they are doing, who they are with, and what they are doing.
  • Doesn’t go out without their partner
  • Suddenly not allowed to see certain family or friends
  • Doesn’t have access to money

Leaving isn’t always as easy as packing your things and moving on.  Abusers are good at making their victims feel helpless, powerless, and controlling them.  The abusers might make them feel like it’s their fault, and they deserve the abuse.  I’ve been in an abusive relationship, and it wasn’t easy to leave, because I didn’t know what I would do once I left. 

Once I started to talk about things with a good friend of mine, whom I had to sneak to talk to I started to realize it wasn’t my fault, and was able to leave.  I consider myself lucky, because it could have been much worse, but I do know there is life after abuse, and sometimes people just need someone to talk to, and hear themselves say something aloud. 

I know everyone is different, but I don’t know when I would have left had my friend not noticed I stopped calling, and talking to all my friends.  She suspected something was wrong, came to me when I was alone, talked to me, offered a shoulder, and ear.  I’m thankful she wasn’t scared to speak up, and ask questions, and offer support.  She helped me see that he wasn’t right, people did care, and I did have somewhere to go.

The best thing we can do to help those who are victims of domestic violence is speak up, talk about it, and educate them so they know there is a way out and life after they leave.  Do you know someone who is a victim of an abusive relationship?  In addition, emotional abuse does count, and it a larger problem than many things.  When people think of domestic violence, they often picture physical abuse, and emotional abuse can leave someone battered and bruised from the inside out. 

Whether someone is hitting you, calling you names, or controlling your money it’s abuse and nobody should have to live like that.  An abuser will try to control you, and often use money to do so.  Financial abuse can include:

  • Controlling finances
  • Keeping credit cards, debit cards, and cash
  • Making someone account for every penny
  • Keeping necessities
  • Preventing one from working, going to school, or trying to better themselves
  • Stealing
  • Giving an allowance

 Domestic Violence and the Purple Purse CampignRaise Awareness Domestic Violence: The All State Foundation Purple Purse Campaign

Domestic violence happens far too often affecting one in four women in her lifetime.  Did you know that is more women than breast, lung, and ovarian cancer combined?  It’s horrible to think many people think domestic violence consist of physical abuse, when in fact financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence.  Financial abuse is one of the most powerful ways to keep a victim trapped.  They often go together, and about 8 in 10 Americans have not heard much about financial abuse as a form of domestic violence. 

Did you know the number one reasons survivors of domestic violence stay, leave, or go back to an abusive relationship is due to finances, and not having the resources to get away. 

Domestic violence is a serious problem, something that needs talked about, and I’m honored to be part of the All State Foundation Purple Purse campaign, which aims to help make domestic violence a fashionable subject to talk about.  You can help too, by joining the Purple Purse Challenge, and open you’re not just your wallet, but your heart to stand up for these survivors and the wonderful organizations which serve them by visiting PurplePurse.com.

I have to applaud The All State Foundation, because they are investing more than half of a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge.  The purple purse is more than stylish, it is helping to make lives safer, being used my nonprofits who are participating in the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge to help get everything talking, or at least spark a conversation about domestic violence, as well as financial empowerment in your communities.

When you donate at least $10 you’ll be entered for a chance to win the Purple Purse designed by the lovely Kerry Washington.  There will be three winners every single day, but to check out all the details and help raise awareness be sure to visit PurplePurse.com.  The Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers University School of Social Work has new evidence that boosting a survivors financial literacy resources as well as their skills can help to create a new path toward longer-term safety and security for survivors.

If you or someone you know needs help they can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. 

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