• November 18, 2019

GOOD SAMARITAN: How you can save a life from domestic violence - Odessa American: Health

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GOOD SAMARITAN: How you can save a life from domestic violence

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Posted: Monday, October 14, 2019 6:30 am

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is violence or abuse of a person by another whom they are in a relationship or cohabitate with in a domestic setting. This violence or abuse can be used to overpower or belittle the other person in some way and can occur in a physical, verbal, or psychological manner.

It mainly occurs within spouses or intimate partners, but can also involve others such as children or other people living in the same domestic setting. This type of abuse can be subtle or aggressive in nature and can also include stalking and cyberstalking.

What are some of the warning signs? Domestic abuse affects each person differently, but it impacts everyone both physically and psychologically.

>> Marks, bruises, and physical injuries: When someone is a victim of domestic violence, it is common they may have frequent marks, bruises, or physical injuries on their bodies and will often attempt to hide them by wearing long-sleeved clothing or covering their body, even during hot weather.

>> Emotional stress: Domestic violence can cause a victim to be in distress and will often cause other mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. An abuser is often manipulative, controlling and possessive, which can cause stress for an individual. A victim may also feel conflicted as the abuser will sometimes apologize and will treat the victim well for a while but will then return to the abuse.

>> Social isolation/withdrawal: When a victim is experiencing domestic violence, it is common for their abusers to attempt to isolate them from others in order to keep them from having a network of support. If someone is withdrawn and is isolating more than usual, it may be a sign that something is wrong.

>> Lower self-esteem: When someone is being abused, they may feel hopeless, worthless, and may feel that it’s their fault they are getting abused. Some victims come to believe they may be deserving of the abuse.

How can you help yourself?

Realize you matter and any abuse is too much abuse. No one deserves to be mistreated by anyone. You are deserving of a loving, healthy relationship. Many people do not realize they are in an abusive relationship; therefore, being informed about what abuse is can be helpful in helping you identify if you are a victim.

If you are being physically hurt, document your injuries. Your abuser may be telling you that no one will believe you if you report. Documenting can help prove your allegations when you decide to reach out for help. You may be feeling that you are alone, but you are not. Talk to someone about how you are feeling and tell them if you need help. Others around you may not be aware you need help until you reach out. Remember it’s not your fault. You are a victim and can be a survivor if you choose to be.

How can you help someone else?

>> Be informed: Be aware of what abuse/domestic violence looks like and how it can affect someone.

>> Teach your loved ones about abuse: Knowing what a healthy relationship should be can help victims identify if they may be in an abusive relationship or household.

>> Listen to your loved ones and be supportive: Being supportive and involved in your loved ones will make them more likely to reach out for help when needed.

>> Encourage victim to seek help: Victims often believe they are stuck or help may not be available, remind them that there is help and give them hope.

If Samaritan Counseling Center can be of assistance, call (432)563-4144.


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