Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) affects 12 million people in the United States each year. This includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse by a current or past partner. It can be limited to one episode or it can be ongoing for years. One in three women have been victims of IPV, resulting in long and short-term physical and psychological trauma for many. With numbers like these, each one of us probably knows at least one person affected by domestic violence. It may even be you.
1. Just LISTEN to me please!
2. Reassure me. Tell me things like, “You don’t deserve this;” “This is not your fault;” and “I believe you.”
3. Tell me that you think I might be in DANGER (I need to hear this from someone else).
4. Please make sure that I have the domestic violence hotline number MEMORIZED. It may not be safe for me to have this number written down or in my phone. 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) is the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
5. Call me OFTEN and ASK how you can help me. Please check with me before you send an email asking about my situation. My emails may be censored by my partner. If you call me please ask if it is an okay time to talk. My partner may be listening in on the conversation.
6. Please don’t tell me what to do. I don’t need someone else controlling all of my decisions. I already have that at home from my abuser. I need to be the one who decides when it is best to leave.
7. Help me come up with a get away plan. Help me think through where I would go and what I would need.
Victims of Domestic Violence need your love and support. Learn more about how you can help and what resources are available by clicking on the hyperlinks throughout this article. Raise your voice to raise awareness! October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month after all.
For similar articles and more information on women and children’s health, check out our home page and give The Mom in Me, MD a like on Facebook! Another article just published this week on Domestic Violence that you may want to check out and share is linked right here! “A Time When it’s Okay to Raise Your Voice…Domestic Violence Awareness”