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“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because, as has been said, it is the quality which guarantees all others.” Winston Churchill

If one in every four women will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in their lifetime it is safe to assume that we all know of someone who has been affected.  It is during October, the Domestic Violence Awareness Month that the nation comes together to mourn those that have died as a result of domestic violence, celebrate those that have survived, and bring together those that are working towards putting an end to the violence.

The first step to ending this devastating epidemic is to be cognizant of the warning signs and symptoms of domestic violence. Awareness can turn in to a solution.

Warning Signs

  • A partner that puts their significant other down and says hurtful things
  • A partner that discourages one from having any close relationships with family or friends
  • A partner that places blame and guilt  for their own mistakes
  • A partner that makes all the decisions in the relationship
  • A partner that acts very jealous
  • A partner that makes one feel worthless and helpless
  • A partner that throws objects
  • A partner that physically assaults, such as slapping, kicking, etc.
  • A partner that forbids independent activities such as work or school
  • A partner that physically abuses the pets or children when angry at other things
  • A partner that controls access to money, medication, or necessities
  • A partner that demands sex or sexual activities that one does not feel comfortable with or agree to
  • A partner that sees one as an object
  • A partner that is constantly checking-up

Symptoms

  • Physical signs such as bruises on the arms, wrist, or face
  • Attempting to cover up bruises with makeup or clothing
  • Being extremely apologetic or meek
  • Making up stories and excuses about clumsiness and being accident prone, rather than telling the truth
  • Being very isolated from family and friends
  • Having very low self-esteem
  • Showing symptoms of depression
  • Having limited money, access to the phone or car, etc
  • Problems with drugs or Alcohol
  • Exhibiting the warning signs of suicide

 

“In the 16 years since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), we have broken the silence surrounding the violence to reach thousands of survivors, prevent countless incidences of abuse, and save untold numbers of lives.  While these are critical achievements, domestic violence remains a devastating public health crisis when one in four women will be physically or sexually assaulted by a partner at some point in their lifetime.  During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the tremendous progress made in reducing domestic violence, and we recommit to making everyone’s home a safe place for them.”  President Obama
Red the full proclamation by President Obama at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/10/01/presidential-proclamation-national-domestic-violence-awareness-month

If you are someone you know is or has been a victim of domestic abuse please reach out for help immediately. 
National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-3224