Recognizing Forms of Abuse:
- PHYSICAL: hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, spitting, biting, holding you against your will, strangling, use of weapon, and isolating you.
- VERBAL / EMOTIONAL: calling you names, putting you down, threatening to kill you or your children, threatening to leave with the children, threatening to harm pets, etc.
- SEXUAL: forces you to have sex against your will; forcing you to in unwanted sexual activity.
- SPIRITUAL: using religious text out of context and not allowing you to practice your faith.
Myths and Facts About Domestic Violence
Myth: People who are abused probably deserve it.
Fact: No one deserves to be abused. Victims do not cause their partners to be abusive.
Myth: Low-income, minority women are abused most often?
Fact: Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. Women of all ages, races, education levels, economic levels, and religions are abused.
Myth: Children aren’t harmed that much unless they are also beaten or abused.
Fact: Children who witness abuse suffer emotional abuse, even if they are not physically abused. They suffer anxiety, depression, behavior and emotional disturbances. Children who grow up in abusive homes are more likely to drop out of school, abuse Others, or become victims of abuse.
Know the Facts
- Domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury to women in the United States.
- Violence against an intimate partner is a crime in all states.
- Every day an estimated four (4) women are killed by their husbands, boyfriends, or expartners.
- No one deserves to be beaten, threatened, or humiliated.
- Abuse is wrong. It is not part of a normal, healthy relationship.
- It is NOT the victim’s fault.
- Everyone has the right to live without fear and violence.
- The violence will become worse over time.
- Batterers abuse because they choose to be abusive.
Take the Test
- Are you or your children afraid of your partner?
- Do you sometimes lie to your family and friends to cover up your partner’s abusiveness?
- Do you have to be careful of what you say and do when you are with your partner so he/she doesn’t get angry?
- Does your partner constantly criticize you despite your efforts to please him/her?
- Does your partner embarrass you in front of your family or friends?
- Does your partner put down your accomplishments or goals?
- Does your partner threaten you, grab you, shove you, or hit you?
- Does your partner check up on you, such as setting time limits on your trips to and from the store and other places you go?
- Does your partner prevent you from spending time with your family or friends?
- Do you stay with your partner because you are afraid of what your partner would do if you broke up?
- Does your partner unjustly and repeatedly accuse you of having affairs or flirting?
- Does your partner not allow you to earn or keep your own money?
- Has your partner ever abandoned you in a dangerous place?
- Has your partner ever destroyed your personal property or other sentimental items?
- Does your partner manipulate you with lies and threats?
- Are you beginning to believe all the terrible things your partner accuses you of and says about you?
If you answered, “yes” to just one of these questions, you may be a victim of domestic violence.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Examples of sexual assault are forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incent and fondling. Rape is an act of violence. It is a felony. It is estimated that 12 rapes occur every hour.
Following a rape, a victim will experience a wide range of emotions – some possible reactions are listed below:
Fear of another rape or of future violence from the rapist; Shame, feeling abused and degraded; Anger at the world in general; Helplessness, “my life is out of control”; Guilt, “was it my fault”; Dirtiness feeling different and soil; Isolation feeling alone; and Distrust of everyone.
Don’t take the abuse.
Myths and Facts About Sexual Assault
Myth: It could never happen to me.
Fact: Everyone is potential rape victim: females/males of any age, race, class, religion, occupation, education, or physical description.
Myth: Most rapes occur as a “spur-of-the-moment” act in a dark alley by a stranger.
Fact: Most rapes are planned and often occur in someone’s home. Many times the offender is a relative, friend, or neighbor, or other acquaintance of the victim.
Myth: Rape is a primarily a sexual crime.
Fact: Rape is a violent assault that is acted out sexually. It violates not only the victim’s personal integrity, but also her/his sense of safety and control over life.
Myth: A rapist is easy to spot in a crowd.
Fact: Most rapist appear to be normal. Most are married and young. They can be any race, color, or economic class.
Myth: Rape happens only to young women.
Fact: Rape victims may range in age from 4 months to 92 years. Rape is an act of force for which everyone must be prepared. People of all ages, socio-economic groups.
Know the Facts
- 71% of rapes were planned in advance.
- Nearly 90% of reported rapes involve threats of physical harm.
- 48% of rapist were known to their victims. The relationships ranged from acquaintances to relatives.
- 75% if rapes involve persons of the same race.
- Studies show that 1 in 4 women will be the target of some form of sexual assault during their lifetimes.
- It is estimated that only 1 in 10 rapes are ever reported.