As many as four million women in this country suffer some kind of violence at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends each year. Very few will tell anyone - a friend, a relative, a neighbor, or the police.
Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all income groups, all ages, all religions. They share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame.
Are You Abused?
Does the person you love:
Anger easily when drinking or using other drugs?
Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
Criticize you for little things?
Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
Force you to have sex against your will?
Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
Humiliate you in front of others?
Prevent you from working or attending school?
Threaten to hurt you or the children?
"Track" all of your time?
Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
If you find yourself saying "yes" to any of these - it's time to get help.
Don't Ignore the Problem
Learn to think independently. Try to plan for the future and set goals for yourself.
Plan ahead and know what you will do if you are attacked again. If you decide to leave, choose a place to go; set aside some money. Put important papers together - marriage license, birth certificates, checkbooks - in a place where you can get them quickly.
Talk to someone. Part of the abuser's power comes from secrecy. Victims are often ashamed to let anyone know about intimate family problems. Go to a friend or neighbor, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233, or Joplin Lafayette House at (800) 416-1772 to talk to a counselor.