October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In order to raise awareness to less known aspects of this serious issue, Hola America/Hola Iowa presents you with a series of different article for the whole month of October. Expect a new article every week and check them out on our website on the Health Tab.
Domestic violence does not discriminate against race, gender, age or social or financial status, in other words, anyone out there can be a victim. When one talks of domestic violence, the images that come to mind are of the physical abuse, but domestic violence is a much more complex issue and many times the signs of domestic abuse are not very obvious. In fact, sometimes these signs are misinterpreted as part of romantic relationship. In the first article of our Domestic Violence series we want to present you a number of subtle signs that may indicate that domestic violence is might be happening.
1. Controlling who and how long you spend your time with. This might be a sign hard to miss because the abuser might actually come across as someone reasonable and, at times, even protective. It may seem as your partner wants to spend more time with you because he cares, but soon you find yourself isolated from your friends and family and you start to believe that your abuser is the only one there for you.
2. Sexual manipulation. The more known scenario where partner might threaten to leave you if you do not have sexual relationship with him/her. The partner should not pressure you into sexual relations when you do not want to have any or make you have sexual relation in a way you do not like or want to do. Another scenario of sexual manipulation is when your partner does whatever to keep you dependent on him. More often than not males impregnate females to keep them always dependent. Many times partner denies woman access to birth control and he would not use it himself (Please, remember that this does not apply to everyone because the couple might not use birth control due to religious beliefs or they might simply looking to start family). Above all, women should have a right to have a safe sexual relationship.
3. Refusal to respect your privacy. Wanting to know your e-mail or Facebook passwords demand to have the same e-mail account, constant texting and asking where you are, upsetting when you don’t answer, sending someone to check-up on you, constantly calling or driving by, checking you call log or phone bill – all of them restrict you from privacy and, as unbelievable as it might sound, it is one of the signs of domestic abuse.
4. Stalking you. Not letting go has nothing to do with romance.
5. Threatens to commit suicide if you break up with him/her. There is no place for threats in healthy relationship.
6. Physical force. It does not have to be a slap on a face or beating. Your partner holds your wrist a little too tight, pushes you into walls, shakes you or even tickles you until you break down and cry. They might not be obvious signs of abuse many of us used to seeing, but none the less they are physical abuse.
7. Making you feel worthless and not good enough for him/her. Your partner shreds your self esteem through regular insults and at the end you believe that you are truly undeserving. It might start with jokes, but overtime the jokes cease to be funny and a victim becomes trained to not to question the verbal abuse.
8. Dictating your personal appearance. Abusers live in fear of losing their victim. In order to keep you less attractive to others out there, abuser might tell you to not to use any makeup or nice clothes.
9. Pushing you to doubt your own dreams. If you share your dreams and goals and instead of giving you’re an honest opinion, your partner tells you right away that you would not be able to do it and even stands his ground, then you might want to consider that this could actually be a sign of trouble.
10. Doing things that scares you. If you feel like you are always on edge of upsetting your partner and making him angry then it is time to reevaluate the relationship.
11. Keeping money from you. If your partner keeps money as secret from you then it is a warning sign of relationship trouble, as well as, him/her keeping you from getting a job or causing you to lose one, forcing you to give up on your driving license, forcing you to use drugs or alcohol with him/her.
Among many obvious signs of domestic abuse, there a lot of subtle and less noticeable ones. Yes, constant broken bones and bruises may indicate domestic abuse, but more often than not it starts with subtle signs that escalate with time, if not taken care of early on. Recognizing these signs can sometimes truly mean the difference between life and death. For more information about domestic violence and help available in surrounding areas in Illinois and Iowa please go to our website.
The Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline
Iowa Statewide Sexual Abuse Hotline
The Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline, a toll-free service for victims, loved ones and community members. Certified Domestic Violence Advocates are here 24 hours a day to provide crisis support, help victims find safe solutions across the state, answer questions and provide resource referrals.
Latinas Unidas Por Un Nuevo Amanecer (LUNA)
4313 Fleur Drive, Suite #25, Des Moines, IA
Illinois Department of Human Services:
Domestic Violence Victims Services
Domestic Violence Helpline:
• 1-877-TO END DV or 1-877-863-6338 (Voice)
• 1-877-863-6339 (TTY)
The hotline is toll free, confidential, multilingual, and open 24-hour
For a list of local organizations that can help you in case of domestic violence please visit our website HolaIowa.com in the section business directory or health tab.