At one time, it was kept behind closed doors. Today, domestic violence is epidemic in the United States and worldwide. In basic terms, domestic violence is a deliberate agenda of power and control by one intimate partner against the other.
This violence comes in many forms that include physical and sexual assault, battery, willful intimidation, verbal and other types of abuse, all of which can vary in intensity and frequency.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
- An average of 20 people per minute experience physical violence by an intimate partner in the US— more than 10 million women and men each year.
- Within their lifetime, one in three women and one in four men have been the victim of some type of domestic violence.
- In an average day, domestic violence hotlines receive more than 20,000 phone calls women and men in the U.S.
Do you know the signs of domestic violence? Whether you believe you are the victim of domestic violence, or if you believe someone you know is being abused by a partner, the following information can help you identify and stop this behavior. No one deserves to be treated this way. You have rights, and help is available. Domestic violence is a criminal act and must be dealt with before the perpetrator leaves you powerless to do anything.
Anything beyond the typical arguments most couples have now and then may be considered domestic violence. Watch for this pattern of abuse:
Does your partner
- Isolate you?
- Prevent you from seeing and speaking with family and friends?
- Stop you from going to work, school or other outside activities?
- Control everything you do and see?
- Put you down in public and make you feel worthless?
- Accuse you of cheating?
- Take your paycheck, deprive you of money, or make you ask for money?
- Handle all the decision-making?
- Threaten to harm you and/or your children?
- Intimidate you with weapons—guns, knives, blackjack, brass knuckles?
- Pressure you to have sex?
- Threaten your pets or destroy your property?
- Shove, slap, hit, kick or choke you?
- Minimize the abuse, say you are to blame, or deny abusing you?
- Stalk you (follow you or constantly call you when you are away from home)?
- Threaten to kill you?
If you have experienced one, some or all of the above actions, the time to act is now. Protect yourself immediately. Leave your location (taking your children with you) and notify police.
Is Someone You Know in an Abusive Relationship?
Look for these signs:
- Suspicious bruises or injuries (black eyes, red/purple marks on the neck, sprained wrist); Abused individuals often attempt to hide injuries with clothing and make-up.
- Made-up excuses for injuries (tripping, falling, uncoordinated)
- Reluctant to make friends and isolated from family and co-workers
- No car, credit cards, very little money
If you are experiencing domestic violence, or if you suspect someone is being physically and/or mentally abused, get help immediately. If you have been accused of domestic abuse and need an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Colorado, call Ellmann & Ellmann P.C. at (303) 814-2600 for a free consultation.