What is Domestic Violence?
Denton County Friends of the Family defines Domestic Violence as "An intentional pattern or behavior one person uses to gain or maintain power and control over the other person with whom they are currently or were previously in a relationship with. Synonymous with Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)."
Who are Victims of Domestic Violence?
The simple answer? Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. It affects all races and ethnicities and crosses all sexes. Domestic Violence cases do not always look the same.
What are the Warning Signs?
- Quick involvement (wanting to move in together, saying "I love you" early on
- Isolation from Family and Friends
- Verbally abusive (name calling, yelling, cursing)
- Threatens violence/suicide
- Uses force during an argument
- Believes in rigid sex/gender roles
- Cruel to animals or children
- Checks in on partner via text, social media, calling, e-mailing, driving by or dropping in
- Financial Control - by either setting an allowance, interfering with work, creating debt in their partner's name
- Tampers with Birth Control
- Damages personal belongings or vehicles
How to Recognize Abuse:
- Personality changes - was once outgoing, now may be depressed, defensive, irritable,
- They become withdrawn, suddenly fearful, or secretive
- Unexplained illnesses, stomach aches or headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Start missing work or school, grades or work productivity drop
- There are physical signs - bruises, sores, burns, cuts, black eyes - excuses are made for the cause of these injuries that seem implausible or out of character
- They stop seeing friend or family or cut conversations short when their partner is present
- The partner criticizes or humiliates them in front of others
- Victim is 100% economically dependent on their abuser
- Fearful that their life is in danger and fear that their partner will find them if they leave
What Can YOU Do?
- Start by Believing - when someone confides in you, believe them
- Ask the RIGHT questions, one on one, "Are you afraid of anyone?", "Has anyone tried to hurt you recently?", "Have you been forced to do things you do not want to do, sexually or otherwise?"
- Keep their confidence - and share our crisis number, let them know of resources
Our Crisis Line is available 24/7 at (940) 382-7273 or (800) 572-4031