Relationship violence is as well referred to as domestic violence, family violence or intimate partner violence. It is a pattern of abusive behavior through which a relationship partner seeks to control and dominate his or her partner. Relationship violence does not take the form of a single incident. It is an ongoing behavior that steadily weakens the sufferer’s confidence and ability to leave the abusive partner. The cruelty and regularity of violence commonly increase overtime.
What is relationship violence?
Relationship violence is an abuse that occurs between two individuals in a personal relationship. It can be between past or present partners, spouses, or boyfriends and girlfriends.
Relationship violence affects men and women of all race, ethnic groups, religion; and in a heterosexual and homosexual relationship both among the poor, the rich, teen, adult, or aged. However, the women are mostly the victims of domestic abuse. Money and drugs or alcohol issue is likely to give room for relationship violence.
Forms of relationship abuse
The violence can take a lot of forms including physical, sexual, emotional, social, spiritual and economic abuse. It can involve any of the following actions:
- Preventing a victim from having access to family and friends
- controlling their access to money
- Making them lose their self-esteem
- Stopping them from the practice of their religion, frightening them, and bullying them.
What to do if you’re being abused?
You need to get some help by talking with someone you trust like a friend, a help center, or your doctor. You may contact an advocacy group in the neighborhood for support or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233). The hotline is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in English, Spanish, and a few other languages.
What are the harmful effects of domestic violence?
Relationship violence is injurious to the victim as well as their families. Victims of relationship abuse can get badly injured.
They may be exposed to the risk of chronic health issues like depression, headaches, and post-traumatic stress disorder due to recurrent injuries and stress.
Relationship abuse can occur often and frequently worsen when a woman is pregnant and this is unsafe for both the unborn child and the mother. The baby may be at risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and death while the pregnant woman may be exposed to higher risk pregnancy.
Relationship abuse has a big effect on children. Children from the abusive home view the violence as normal and have a tendency to replicate it when they grow.
Teenagers from such home suffer from depression, drug, alcohol use, and dangerous behavior.
Other things you can do:
- Know your legal rights and go to the police for help if need be.
- Ensure that you are aware of the phone numbers you can call and places you can run to in case of emergency.
- Teach your children to avoid getting involved in the middle of a fight.
If you want to leave, get things organized to stay safe. A few things you can do to leave safely are:
- Gather some of your clothing in a suitcase and hide it away or leave it with friends or family. Get copies of your car and house keys, money or credit cards, and crucial documents like Social Security cards and birth certificates for you and your kids.
- Open a savings account or obtain a credit card secretly.
- If you are a teen, speak to an adult you trust like your parents, family friend, or school counselor. You can as well call the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline toll-free on 1-866-331-9474.