What is Domestic Violence?
It may be difficult to identify yourself as a battered woman, but it is a critical
first step. The following checklist may help you determine whether you or someone
you know is battered.
Does the person you love…
- Track all of your time?
- Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
- Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Criticize you for little things?
- Anger easily when drinking or on drugs?
- Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
- Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
- Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
- Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
- Threaten to hurt you or the children?
- Force you to have sex against your will?
- Humiliate you in front of others?
IF YOU ANSWERED “YES” TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS, YOU MAY INDEED BE IN AN ABUSIVE
RELATIONSHIP. The abuse will not go away by itself. The violence only
gets worse and more frequent.
Millions of individuals are abused by their partners. You are not to blame and you
are not alone. With support from a local domestic violence program, family, friends,
social and legal services, you can take positive steps towards building a safe life
for you and your children.
THE CHILDREN ARE ALSO VICTIMS. They usually live in constant fear,
guilt, and confusion. They may become victims of abuse from one or both parents.
The majority of these children will become involved in family violence when they
become adults, UNLESS SOMETHING IS DONE TO BREAK THE PATTERN.
BATTERING IS A CRIME. No one has a right to hurt or threaten you.
If a family member or partner has victimized you, you have a right to seek legal
protection. This can include calling the police, having the abuser arrested, and/or
going to court for an order of protection.
While violence against women and children is illegal, it will not end unless society
speaks out in unison, condemns such behavior, protects its citizens’ rights and
safety, and supports its victims. Each and every one of us can play a part.