Straight, No Chaser: Focus on Domestic Violence
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, although it doesn’t take a break during other months. Are you concerned about domestic violence? You are not alone. Domestic violence occurs in every culture and society. It occurs in all age groups and in men and women. It occurs in all races, income levels and religions. It occurs in heterosexual and homosexual relationships. It is estimated that one in four women and one in nine men will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. That’s right. Many (if not most) emergency rooms now screen every single woman for domestic violence. You need to know the signs of danger and what you can do to get help.
This is the first in a three-part series on domestic violence. This post will focus on the scope of domestic violence. The next post will focus on identifying risk factors. The third post will focus on actions to take if you find yourself in a relationship in which domestic violence occurs.
Domestic violence is the abuse that one person with control in a household inflicts on another. Perpetrators can include parents or other caregivers, siblings, spouses or intimate partners. Domestic violence reveals itself in several forms, including sexual (e.g., rape), physical (e.g., biting, hitting, kicking) and mental abuse (e.g., constant criticisms or threats, limiting ability to lead otherwise normal lives). These forms tend to center around abnormal control of an aspect of another’s life. The level of mental control is such that victims of domestic violence often internalize the activity as normal, assign fault to themselves and/or accept responsibility for the abuse.
Domestic violence is a crime in all 50 states of the U.S.
It is a crime.
Victims do not cause abuse and are not responsible for it.
Domestic violence has consistent adverse effects on mental health.
- Children suffering from domestic violence often display developmental delays, aggressive behavior, difficulty performing in school and low self-esteem. They are at greater risk for being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder.
- Domestic violence increases the diagnoses of anxiety disorder, depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is associated with an increase in substance abuse.
- Domestic violence increases the incidence of psychotic episodes, suicide attempts and homelessness. It’s presence slows recovery from those suffering from other mental illness.
- Domestic violence increases the risk of retaliatory violence against the perpetrators.
Please … contact us if you’re in need of support. Our expert crisis counselors are here for you, 24/7. 1-844-SMA-TALK or www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com. You don’t have to “endure with dignity.”
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
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