21 Things People Get Completely Wrong About Domestic Abuse
Because leaving isn't always as easy as it sounds.
Domestic abuse is very common. One in four women in the U.S. will experience relationship violence in her lifetime.
However, women are not the only victims. One in seven men aged 18 and up encounter intimate partner violence.
Abuse isn't always physical. It can include manipulation, threats and aggressive verbal outbursts.
It is possible for victims to still love and care for their abuser.
That is because they often see a glimpse of the person they once fell in love with.
Leaving abusive relationships is not always as simple as it seems.
In fact, it's easy to say "why does this person stay?" but the situation is much more complex than that.
There are many personal, economic and social factors that make it very difficult for victims to leave abusive relationships.
Victims are at the highest risk when they are separating or divorcing their partners and are often intimidated and threatened when they try to leave.
Abusers are often very codependent on their victims and their emotional instability can lead them to be violent.
After an act of violence, abusers can become remorseful and needy, leaving the victim feeling sorry for them. This perpetuates the cycle of abuse.
The cycle of abuse can span generations. Children exposed to traumatic acts of violence in their families are more susceptible to violence in future relationships.
Often times, abusers were victims of domestic violence themselves.
It is common for abusers blame their violence on drugs and alcohol instead of their own behavior.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of income level, race, gender or sexual orientation.
Victims are not weak, vulnerable, timid or helpless.
Abuse can cause one's self esteem to plummet, leaving them feeling hopeless and alone.
It can also make it hard to distinguish between healthy, respectful loving acts and abusive ones.
Although it isn't easy, once victims are given help and recover from abuse, they are able to find hope and maintain healthy, loving relationships in the future.
By telling their stories, victims of abuse are often able to recover and inspire others to seek help.
If you are experiencing abuse in your relationship or know a friend, family member or someone else who is, call The National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit http://www.thehotline.org
Advocates are available 24/7 in over 170 languages and all calls and chats are completely confidential.