What to Do in the Face of Domestic Violence

Any form of physical, emotional, verbal, financial, or sexual abuse can be classified as domestic violence. This could be towards a member of one's family or towards a member of one's household. It also extends to include those who are involved in a romantic relationship. As domestic violence looks different in every case, it is sometimes difficult to know when to get help or where to go to receive help. The first step in dealing with domestic abuse is being able to recognize the signs, as the violence is not always physical.

Although there are numerous signs as to whether abuse is happening, one of the first symptoms is fear. If an individual lives in fear of their partner, spouse, or parent, this is a telling sign that something is not right. Humiliation, criticism, embarrassment, put downs, blame-shifting, forced sex, threats, manipulation and stalking are not normal and should not be tolerated.

Victims of domestic violence are protected by law and in the fact of this type of abuse, they should seek to make use of this help. If you or your family is in immediate danger, you should call 911 or go to your nearest law enforcement station as soon as possible. If you are suffering from a pattern of violence, you have the right to request a restraining order against the abuser. Depending on the state you live in, the exact regulations will change. In some cases, you can file a restraining order to protect someone else, not just yourself. When the restraining order comes into effect, the offender will not be able to come near you or your family. If you live together, then they will be required to move out of your house; they will also be required to stay away from where you work or where your children go to school.

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