(www.BlackDoctor.org) -- Somewhere in the United States, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds. Could she be you? It is estimated that (at least) one in three women will be beaten, coerced or abused at some point during her lifetime. Abuse doesn’t have to happen all the time. It can happen occasionally or even only once.
First and foremost, be aware that Domestic Violence is an equal opportunity abuser – young and old, Christian or non-Christian, rich or poor – anyone can be abused. Secondly, know that Domestic Violence comes in a variety of forms. Knowing what they are can help you spot someone in trouble. Common forms of abuse include:
Physical Abuse Being pushed, shoved, slapped, pinned down, kicked, and/or having objects used as weapons against you are all forms of physical abuse.
Social Abuse Forced isolation from friends and family or being unable to participate in certain activities are examples of social abuse. Clients may give in to this form of abuse in order to avoid an argument or because they fear that fighting it may lead to other forms of abuse.
Financial Abuse This may include not being provided enough money, being forced to give your money to your partner, or only being allowed to make purchases approved by your partner.
Sexual Abuse Being forced, pressured or threatened to engage in any form of sexual activity against your will.
Psychological and/or Emotional Abuse This form of abuse includes being put down, purposely neglected as a form of punishment, and emotional blackmail. Clients may be told: “You’re fat, stupid, a terrible mother,” etc. or “If you loved me you would…”
If you believe that a woman you know may be in trouble, don’t ignore it. Let her know that you care and that you are concerned about her and, if applicable, her children’s well-being. Don’t be pushy or pry too much, but let her know that you will be there for her if and when she needs you and keep numbers nearby to offer your clients. Resources for assistance include: the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) and the National Center for Victims of Crime (800) 394-2255.
Until next time…peace & blessings.
BDO (www.BlackDoctor.org ) is the World’s largest and most comprehensive online health resource specifically targeted to African Americans.