Monday, October 10, 2011

October is National Domestic / Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic Violence is not just about physical abuse. It has many aspects and often includes emotional abuse. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, size or age. In fact, if you do any research you will find many sites indicating that 1 in 3teenagers have experienced violence in a dating relationship.

Regardless of the victim’s or offender’s age, domestic and dating violence is about power and control. Every relationship is different, but domestic violence often follows a cycle. First, tension builds to a breaking point, then there is a violent or extreme emotional event, and finally the couple enters into what is commonly known as the “honeymoon phase.” The honeymoon phase is where an offender often apologizes for the incident and may even promise that it will never happen again.

While there are many warning signs of abuse, here are ten of the most common:

1. Checking your cell phone or email without permission
2. Constant put-downs
3. Extreme jealousy or insecurity
4. Explosive temper
5. Financial control
6. Isolating you from family or friends
7. Mood swings
8. Physically hurting you in any way
9. Possessiveness
10. Telling you what to do

By knowing what to look for you can help break the cycle of violence. If some of these warning signs describe a relationship you are in or know of, don’t wait to seek help. These situations normally escalate in frequency and intensity. Reporting the incident could save a life.