October is domestic violence awareness and prevention month. At Foundations Family Therapy, we are committed to supporting and empowering women and couples so they can thrive in relationships.
Abusive relationships always involve an imbalance of power and control but the signs aren’t always obvious. Here are a few common signs that might identify someone you love may be experiencing interpersonal violence or abuse:
• Extreme fear over the reaction of their partner
• Unexplained injuries
• Personality changes
• Withdrawing from family and friends
• Missing work or school without much explanation
However, abuse often starts subtly and gets worse over time. It’s not always obvious from the beginning. You might be experiencing domestic violence if you’re in a relationship with someone who:
• Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
• Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school or seeing family members or friends
• Tries to control how you spend money, where you go, what medicines you take or what you wear
• Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
• Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
• Tries to control whether you can see a health care provider
• Threatens you with violence or a weapon
• Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets
• Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
• Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it
What Can I Do To Help?
Reach out and ask! Ask if they are safe and healthy in their relationship. Talk specifically about your concerns. Even in cases where there is not domestic violence, those warning signs could be alerting you of depression or something else troubling your friend.
Let the person know you are always there for them. Support the person’s choices. On average, a woman will leave the relationship 7 times and return until she leaves for good. Make sure the person you love has access to local resources such as:
Interact of Wake County
National Domestic Violence Hotline- 1-800-7233
Abuse is NEVER okay. Foundations Family Therapy is here to support you both in office in Fuquay-Varina and Raleigh and online throughout all of North Carolina. If you or someone you know is being abused or has a history of abuse, please reach out to us. We are here for you!