Domestic violence continues to be an epidemic that affects people from all walks of life, regardless of race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Those who have not been a victim of domestic violence often cannot understand why victims stay in abusive relationships. Why don’t they just leave? Well, it is not always so simple. Abusers are skilled at manipulation and control, so the victim is usually under their abuser’s control before they start to see the signs.
Warning Signs of Domestic Violence
- Extreme jealousy
- Bad temper
- Verbal abuse
- Control of what the victim wears, says, and how they act
- Embarrasses or humiliates the victim in public
- Extremely controlling behavior
Abuse is Not Always Physical…
Abuse is not always physical: it can be verbal, emotional, psychological, and even spiritual. But regardless of the form of abuse, it can leave a victim feeling isolated, depressed, helpless, shameful, and withdrawn. Abusers often cut off their victims from their family and friends, leaving them without any support or anyone to turn to. Isolating the victim keeps the abuser in control.
According to victim advocate experts, most victims leave and return to their abuser seven or more times. While it can be frustrating to watch a loved one refuse to leave or return to an abusive situation, ultimately only they can decide to leave for good. Friends and family members often stop being supportive after the first or second time that the victim returns. This void leaves the victim without a support system once they finally decide to leave. Leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for domestic violence victims. Faced with the threat of losing their victim, abusers react in violent and often fatal ways.
What You Can Do to Help
If you know someone who is in an abusive relationship, continue to offer your support, even if they continue to return to the abuser. Abusers are able to control their victims and make them feel like they don’t have any other options. Almost all victims have very low self-esteem and self-worth. Encourage the victim to seek mental health support. For more information on the effects of domestic violence, go to ncadv.org.
For minor or major medical emergencies in the Galveston area, Hospitality Health ER is open 24-7 to provide top-notch, confidential care for locals and travelers. Visit us here.