Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship that someone uses to gain or maintain power and control over their partner. There are many different kinds of domestic violence, such as physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. In the United States, nearly 10 million men and women every year suffer from physical abuse from a partner. October is known as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and there are many ways you can recognize the signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship, and provide resources to someone you know that may be suffering.

Many abusers display some common traits. Some red flags include someone who displays extreme jealousy, humiliates the victim in front of others, monitors their partner’s movement. Many victims withdraw from their families and friends because their abusers are very controlling. Victims tend to stay with their abusers because they are scared that their abuser’s actions may become worse if they try to leave. If you or someone you know may be suffering at the hands of their partner, learn how to offer non-judgmental support and a helpful hand. One of the best things you can do to reassure a victim is that the abuse is not their fault.

There are many domestic violence organizations that you can support by volunteering time or money for those in need. Reach out to organizations like The National Domestic Violence Hotline, The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to see how you can help. Check out the Resources section below for phone numbers you can pass on to anyone you know that may be in a domestic violence-related crisis and make it your mission this October to get involved in the fight to raise awareness.

Resources and Support

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 – This line connects victims to highly trained staff members who provide free and confidential assistance and support.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 303-839-1852 – This line is for someone looking for information and support.

If you know someone who is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

Sources: National Alliance on Mental Illness, Suicide is Preventable, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Lifework Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.