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Safe in 60: How to Spot Signs of Domestic Violence

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Domestic violence can happen to anyone. To any race, religion or gender, whether you are married or single, young or old.

According to the CDC, domestic violence or intimate partner violence will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men at some point in their lifetime. But this doesn’t just affect the victim. It can have lasting adverse effects on children and other family members.

There are many forms of abuse, but they all have one main thing in common. One partner is attempting to have complete control or power over the other.

  • Physical abuse: Physical aggression such as hitting, kicking or strangulation. Strangulation can cause permanent physical damage and death and is considered very serious in an abuse case.
  • Sexual abuse: Forcing sex on a partner who is not consenting.
  • Threats: Any threat to physically harm a partner.
  • Emotional abuse: Intimidation; keeping the victim from family or friends; hurting the victim’s sense of self-worth; taking away belongings, withholding finances or other essential resources.

Here are some more subtle signs of an abusive partner, known as red flag behaviors. They can likely escalate to the abuse described above.

  • Extreme jealousy, possessiveness or controlling behavior.
  • A bad temper or cruelty to animals.
  • Verbal abuse, blaming, or accusations of flirting or having an affair.
  • Controlling what kind of clothes can be worn.
  • Embarrasses or humiliates partner in public.

Signs that someone could be suffering from abuse:

  • Excuses frequent injuries.
  • Used to be outgoing and confident but seems to have lost self-esteem.
  • Seems to be overly eager to please their partner.
  • Becomes isolated from family or friends.
  • Wears long sleeves in the summer to hide injuries.
  • Continually checking in with their partner or their partner, always checking on them.
  • Missing work, social gatherings, or school for no apparent reason.
  • Any other unusual changes in actions could indicate abuse – many times, the victim shows signs and doesn’t know it.

If you know someone who you may think is suffering from abuse, encourage them to report it. Show support and let him/her know you are there to help when needed. They are likely feeling alienated and alone. Help them through the process of reporting abuse and help them with a safety plan.

You can also report abuse to authorities and remain anonymous.

If you are a victim of abuse, there are resources out there to help. It is a difficult first step, but help is available 24 hours a day and doesn’t cost anything.

Resources for domestic violence victims:

  • Utah Domestic Violence Link Line 1-800-897-LINK (5465)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Utah YWCA shelter for women- 24-Hour Crisis Line- 801-537-8600
  • 911 — don’t hesitate to call if you need immediate help

Online resources:

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