- Posted by Sarah Swiston
- On February 14, 2020
- Chicago, chicago metropolitan area, Chicago suburbs, Domestic Violence, domestic violence agency, DV agency, dv survivors, End Domestic Violence, non-profit, northwest chicago, red flags, WINGS Program
Red Flags: Recognizing the Signs of Domestic Violence
While no relationship is perfect, it is crucial for all of us to know how to identify abuse. Domestic Violence is more than the stereotypical image of black eyes and bruises. One in three women experience domestic abuse and anyone can be a victim.
Some abusers use physical violence to intimidate their victims. Others engage in emotional, financial and sexual abuse to exert power and control over the victims. Domestic violence takes many forms and may look very different depending on the relationship. Below are some red flag warning signs of domestic violence:
This is what most people envision when they think of domestic violence. Physical abuse may include punching, hitting, shoving or kicking. Some abusers will engage in biting, scratching or hair-pulling.
Some abusers engage in psychological abuse to control their partners. They use intimidation to cause fear and gain control. They may threaten to hurt themselves, their partner, family members, friends or pets. Some will work to isolate their partners from loved ones or prevent them from engaging in activities they enjoy.
Abusers often try to exert power by breaking down their partner’s sense of self-worth. They may engage in name-calling or frequent criticism. Their words are meant to damage their partner’s self-esteem, making it easier for the abuser to wield power over the victim.
Forcing sexual contact without consent is sexual abuse. Coercing a partner to engage in any sort of sexual act is abuse unless the partner willingly agrees. Making a partner engage in sex following physical violence is sexual abuse.
This occurs when one partner limits access to financial assets in order to control the other partner. Many abusers seek to exert total control over the couple’s financial resources. An abuser may withhold money to make the partner financially dependent on him or her. In some cases, the abuser will forbid the partner to go to work and earn money.
Stalking and Cyberstalking Abuse
Stalking is another type of abuse in which one party directs harassing or threatening behavior toward the intended target. Stalkers typically engage in repeated behavior that causes fear for their victims. They may repeatedly attempt to contact their victims despite being aware that the communication is unwanted. “Cyberstalking, ” which means that the abuser is using technology to stalk his or her victim, is increasingly common.
Are you experiencing domestic abuse? Are you ready to take the first step to a new beginning? Call our 24 hour hotline 847-221-5680. You can also visit our FAQ page for questions.