October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but did you know it’s also Domestic Violence Awareness month? This past weekend, I joined founders Rhina Valentin and April Lee Hernandez for the 1st ever L.O.V.E. Walk (Love Overcomes Violence Eternally). They based it on the passage from the bible (1 Corinthians 13:4) often heard at celebrations of love like weddings, which describe what love is and how God (Universe) intended for us to love one another.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are defined as behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Like many diseases, it does not discriminate. There is no “typical” victim because it affects people of all ages, income and education. It affects partners who are may or may not be married, heterosexual, gay. lesbian, transgender; living together or apart.
Why do people stay in abusive relationships?
If its never happened to you, it may be very difficult to understand why someone would stay. As a friend, you need to be there to provide the support they need, and understand that this is a extremely complicated issue, with so many more layers underneath that are not easily revealed. Some people stay out of fear, embarrassment, fear of being outed and due to low self-esteem. They make even think the abuse is normal, or have cultural or religious reasons that make them feel like they have to stay.
|Credit: La Reina del Barrio Productions, LLC
|With Patti Murillo-Casa
Walks like these are so important because they bring to light the need for more awareness, better resources and education so that we can better recognize signs and symptoms of abuse. Emotional abuse is still abuse. While they may not strike with their hand, their words can be just as harmful by tearing away at your self-esteem and happiness. Any type of abuse is not love, you should not be ashamed and you should know you are not alone.
Possible signs of abuse, does your partner:
- Monitor what you do all the time
- Threaten to hurt you, your children or pets
- Prevent or discourage you from seeing your friends or family
- Humiliates you in front of others
- Physically hurts you
- Constantly accuses you of being unfaithful, increased jealousy
National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233)