Domestic violence is often something Texas residents think happens to someone else, not them. However, it’s more common than you might think; anyone can be a victim. It’s easy to be in denial, but recognizing the signs of domestic violence is crucial to getting the help you need.
Understanding domestic violence
Domestic violence happens when one person exerts a pattern of behavior against someone close to them to maintain control over them. Types of abuse can include physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or even financial. The abuser continuously instills fear in the victim through verbal threats, humiliation and physical actions such as hitting, slapping, kicking or sexual violence.
Although women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, men can also be victims. Children are commonly victimized by such abuse as well. The most common type of relationship between an abuser and victim is intimate partners who are married or in a dating relationship.
Recognizing the signs of abuse
Abuse stemming from a domestic violence situation takes many forms. Abusers tear away at the victim’s self-esteem, belittle their accomplishments and use intimidation to keep them under their control. In many cases, domestic violence involves keeping a person away from their family and friends. The abuser alienates everyone else, becoming the only person in the victim’s life.
An abuser often makes decisions for the victim without consulting with them or taking their feelings or wishes into consideration. One of the typical ways they exert control is to call the victim multiple times when away from them to find out what they’re doing. Abusers often apologize to the victim, promising to stop their behavior, but this is an empty statement as the cycle resumes shortly after.
Leaving an abusive relationship isn’t easy, but help is available.