1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience several physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime (CDC, 2017). Domestic violence has become common place in many households and families affecting thousands of individuals. Domestic violence is oftentimes thought of as violence from a romantic partner, however it is also violence or abuse from a family member.
For many years victims have faced a number of challenges coming forth in society including stigmatization, fear, and lack of resources. Victims are often viewed as the blame and punished by family members, friends and at times the child welfare system, for remaining in violent relationships. Victims are fearful of leaving violent or abusive relationships, oftentimes because the abuser uses tactics of manipulation, intimidation and threats to cause the victim to remain silent and keep it a secret from their family and loved ones.
Many victims do not have the courage to leave abusive relationships because they depend on the abuser for financial security, making it challenging for them to leave, especially true for victims with children dependents. Victims also face a lack of support and insufficient help from families and at times their community. Victims have oftentimes told the story that they tried to seek help from their local precinct and were unable to get the help needed. Some victims have stated family members blamed them for being in the abusive relationship and refused to help them. Victims who are parents face the fear of local child protective services removing their children for remaining in the relationship and as a result do not seek help from local social services a community organizations.
All forms of abuse have lasting effects including the most subtle forms: mental, emotional and verbal abuse. These types of abuses, although unseen physically, have lasting negative implications including trauma, repetition compulsion, mental health issues, parenting difficulties and family dysfunction.
Those in domestic violence relationships need to know that they have a friend, family and/or a community that supports them. If you know of a loved one or friend that is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, ..give them resources for help, stay in communication as much as possible....most importantly..don't give up them.
Resources for Victims in New York City
NYC 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE