(CBS Radio) — Breast Cancer Awareness usually takes center stage every October, but less talked about — but equally as important is the Purple Ribbon — which supports Domestic Violence Awareness.
October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in support of domestic violence victims, it’s important that we recognize and learn the warning signs of domestic violence. In the United States, one in four women will fall victim to domestic violence.
Locally, domestic violence murders increased in North Carolina in 2012, increasing 15 percent to 122. Furthermore, just across the state line, South Carolina is the worst in the nation when it comes to violence against women.
Domestic issues arise when one person in a relationship attempts to dominate and control the other person — either by force, psychological/emotional abuse, or by intimidation.
The statistics are discouraging and alarming … but perhaps, if more people recognized the warning signs of domestic violence, more people could get the help that they need.
One of the most complicated aspects of domestic abuse, is that many people in an abusive relationship fail to seek help — before it’s too late. Often times, they try to justify or rationalize their partner’s behavior. They may even blame themselves for their partner’s controlling or violent temperament.
Here are the Top 10 Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse
10. One of the earliest warning signs of domestic abuse is jealousy. If you are in a relationship where your significant other calls constantly, demands to know your whereabouts whenever you’re not together, or accuses you of cheating — or worse, follows you … talk to a professional immediately.
9. If you enter into a relationship that seems too good to be true, it probably is. If your new significant other wants to move in together, if things seem to be moving extremely fast, or if he talks about getting married right away, this is a warning sign that controlling behavior may follow.
8. If you are in a relationship where your significant other blames you for the way he feels, or if everything you say to your partner is interpreted in their eyes as a personal attack, this is a sign that your partner is looking for a fight and may eventually become violent during one of these altercations.
7. If you are in a relationship with someone who has uncontrollable mood swings, or is sweet one moment but rude and downright abrasive the next, this is an indication that abuse will follow — if it hasn’t already started.
6. If you have heard rumors that your new significant other has been abusive in his past, chances are — he was abusive. He will almost always deny these accusations and claim that his past partner has falsely accused him of domestic abuse — however, rarely do women make up this kind of allegation.
5. Does your significant other punch walls, tables, call you names, or try to instill fear in you? These are all signs that he will eventually be violent towards you.
4. If your significant other tries to control who you talk to or when you talk to them, this is a sign of other controlling behavior, such as you having to ask permission to go out with a friend, etc.
3. If your significant other coerces you into having sex with them when you do not want to, or if he becomes angry if you do not want to have sex — these are signs of an abusive relationship that could become violent.
2. Men who have abusive tendencies will mistreat animals or children. They are also usually unsympathetic towards others and ultimately, lack empathy. They are disrespectful to you and to others — and their behavior and attitude towards others gets worse over time.
1. If you’re in a relationship where your partner tries to isolate you from the people who care about you, or tries to prevent you from going to work — this is a sign that you are in imminent danger. Tell someone immediately.
Are you a victim of domestic violence? Get help now from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
-QC Writer, CBS Radio