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Advocating for Domestic Abuse, and Not Seeing She is in it Herself
By Kristal Kndutson / July 2019
With a background in education and social work Sharron never thought domestic violence could happen to her.
Sharron states, “It was a slow progression that started with subtle manipulation. It escalated into absolute control that I felt I could not escape. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone no matter their race, gender, social class or educational background. The physical abuse is rough but bruises disappear. The emotional abuse stays with you especially if a sound or smell reminds you of the traumatic experience”
Our clients who have been a victim of domestic abuse(or any crisis situation) stay in our housing programs. A program that clients use is called Pathway of Hope. In fact, after clients are out of our housing program, they still use the Pathway of Hope program.
Learn the signs so you can speak up against abuse.
Domestic violence comes in all sizes and shapes. If you have a feeling that you or a loved one may be in an abusive relationship, here are 42 domestic violence warning signs to watch for.
If you’ve witnessed any of these domestic violence warning signs, it’s important to recognize that domestic violence is not normal, and no human being ever deserves to be abused. There is no shame in seeking help or looking for an escape. You are not responsible for what has happened, but you are responsible for what happens next. You have the power to help yourself.
At LiveYourDream.org’s Resource Page we’ve listed some valuable links to help your get the support you need.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please CALL 911.
Hotline advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to provide confidential counseling, crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
If you know someone in an abusive relationship, there are ways you can help.
Listen: If possible, find a time and place that is safe and confidential to talk to your friend/family member. Start the conversation by expressing concern, i.e. “I am worried about your safety.” Allow your friend/family to speak and let them know you believe what they are telling you.
Offer support: Let them know they are not alone and that no one deserves to be hurt. Abuse is not the victim’s fault. Assure them what they are feeling is okay. Then, ask how you can best support them.
Provide resources: Encourage them to reach out to community resources. Connect them with crisis hotlines, support groups, Domestic Violence shelters, mental health services, or anything else they may need.
Help safety plan: Make a safety plan with your friend/family. See our safety planning page.
Respect their choices: Do not pressure them into leaving. It is never as simple as just leaving. There are many reasons people stay in an abusive relationship. Offer them support and resources, but ultimately know it is their decision. Do not be judgmental or make them feel bad for staying in an abusive relationship. Let them know you will be there for them no matter what choice they make.
Remember, you are there to support your loved one, not to rescue or save them.