October is National Domestic Violence Month. Currently the World Health Organization (WHO) defines intimate partner violence (IPV) as:
“… any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship”.
Domestic violence or IPV is an issue that exists in all communities. It has no singular distinguishing demographic other than it is primarily committed against women (however, it has been argued that due to imposed and unfair societal norms, that violent domestic acts committed against men may often go unreported and thus the numbers of men affected by IPV may be much higher than understood). Domestic violence occurs in all types of neighborhoods, homes, and types of families. IPV causes psychological damage to families for generations; it causes a host of health problems aside from the obvious traumas.
Does your partner:
- act excessively jealous and possessive?
- control where you go or what you do?
- keep you from seeing your friends or family?
- limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
- constantly check up on you?have a bad and unpredictable temper?
- hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
- threaten to take your children away or harm them?
- threaten to commit suicide if you leave?force you to have sex?
- destroy your belongings
- humiliate or yell at you?
- criticize you and put you down?
- treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
- ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
- blame you for their own abusive behavior?
- see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
- feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
- avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
- believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
- wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
- feel emotionally numb or helpless?
If you or someone you know is experiencing IPV please reach out to someone you trust or to one of the resources listed below.
Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence offers a list of local resources that may be able to help you. Their link is provided below:
Or call one of these numbers for help:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673