• Noeli Fernandez

Where's the line? Signs of Domestic Violence.

This month I want to highlight Victim Connect Resource Center. If you know someone going through an abusive relationship or are being abused yourself, then this a helpful resource for you. Victim Connect will help you find what you need to get help, stay safe, and find justice.

As I search for information to help others, I read so many definitions, statistics, survivor stories, and fallen stories. I keep learning about domestic violence, and I find myself asking, “where is the line?”

Is there a line? Do you have to cross an arbitrary line to enter the realm of abuse?

I look at my own behavior toward my husband and I can honestly say that I could do WAY better. I look at his behavior toward me and think, “Wow, he could do WAY better.” We deserve way better.

But what does that even mean?

It means having a conversation with my husband about respect, trust, and boundaries. It means finding out how well we listen to the concerns of the other. It means looking at ourselves and recognizing our faults and wanting to be better.

My heart aches for women and men who struggle everyday wondering the same. My heart breaks for those who the line seems to have disappeared and they wonder if it was ever there to begin with.

Resources like Victim Connect can help you, me, and everyone figure out exactly what is happening. You can talk to someone on the phone or chat online. Ask your questions and get answers to help you make decisions.

The Victim Connect website offers this list of possible signs of abuse:

While this list isn’t exhaustive, you may be the victim of domestic violence if someone:

· Hurts or controls you physically, sexually, psychologically, or financially

· Makes you feel trapped in your home or relationship

· Has made you fear for your life, or the lives of your children and pets

· Prohibits you from contacting or seeing your family and friends

· Prevents you from controlling your money and bank accounts, or you’ve been forced to take out loans and credit cards in your name

· Embarrasses, shames, and blames you for causing the behavior that hurts you

If you have experienced domestic violence, you may:

· Feel a range of emotions including, but not limited to confusion, fear, anxiety, and depression

· Still love or feel conflicted about the person who is hurting you

· Withdraw or be isolated from family and friends

· Feel like you cannot get away from the person hurting you

· Cope by using alcohol or drugs

· Have fears around child custody or worry about leaving pets behind

· Believe the person hurting you may change or stop the harmful behavior

· Worry about retaliation from the person who is hurting you

The important part of prevention is education. Educate yourself, your friends, and your family. Know the signs, know who can help, and reach out.


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