Each October, the United States observes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
There is an epidemic in the nation, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
• On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
• 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner-contact sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking.
• 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.
• 1 in 10 women has been raped by an intimate partner.
Intimate partner violence is not always easy to recognize, because it is often about controlling someone’s mind and emotions as much as hurting their body. The signs may not be as obvious as a bruise, but it’s important to be aware of what some of the indicators might be. Even for those living in an abusive relationship, it can be difficult to recognize that what they are experiencing is abuse. Some common warning signs of abuse may include:
• Unpredictability (loving one minute and mean the next).
• Cruelty to animals.
• Verbal abuse.
• Extremely controlling behavior.
• Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships.
• Forced sex or disregard of their partner’s unwillingness to have sex or to engage in certain sex acts.
• Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens, including the abuse.
• Sabotage or obstruction of the victim’s ability to work or attend school.
• Controlling all finances.
• Controlling what victim wears and how they act.
• Embarrassment or humiliation of the victim in front of others.
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