There is a special anniversary this year. It is already 30th year that we are celebrating the Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The tradition, started by National Resource Centre on Domestic Violence, is a well-established one and many people are finally talking openly about this issue. However, domestic abuse is still an epidemic that does not show signs of slowing down. We simply know much more about it now than we did 30 years ago.
It is quite shocking, that while the term “domestic abuse” is thrown around a lot in media and public debates, many abuse victims are completely unaware that they are being abused and many abusers are ignorant that they are doing it. That is why it is crucial to educate young women and men about these destructive behavioral patterns and try to break them. If left unaddressed, the consequences of domestic abuse will continue to tear families apart and affect marital relationships, the children and also the future generations that have witnessed this behavior.
So how do you know if you are in an abusive relationship? The first sign is that you are actually googling this issue and searching for answers. It should feel good to be in a relationship. An abusive relationship does not feel right.
There are many types of abuse, but one of the most common signs of ill-treatment is that you uneasy around your partner. You may feel that you are being controlled, or that you have to walk on eggshells around him. Fear is another good sign that everything is not OK.
What many abuse victims fail to realize is that abuse starts long before the first signs of violence. It starts with subtle remarks about your appearance or your choice of friends. It starts with him telling you where and when you can go and who you can talk to. It can also start with intimidation and/or threats. The fact is, that it will most probably not end there.
Abuse is typically an escalating behavior, and if the abuser does not deal with the issues that cause him to mistreat you in the first place, nothing will change. Even if the abuser says, he is sorry about his actions afterward and promises to change. It is known as the cycle of abuse, and it is a toxic mix of abuse, guilt, excuses, short periods of normal behavior and set-up for another turn.
If this sounds familiar to you, there is a good chance that you are in an abusive relationship and it is time to get out, before it is too late. In case you are unsure about your situation or are not ready to end the relationship you can call National Domestic Violence Hotline and talk to someone that can hear you out. Don’t be afraid to take the first step-there is help out there!
This post was written by Donna Rogers, a health writer, CNA, and a domestic abuse victim herself. She has published a guide for everyone who is interested to know more about this issue and how to end domestic violence.