Wednesday, June 8, 2005
Have you ever been physically touched by someone who had no business doing that? Ever been forced to have sexual intercourse when you had refused? Domestic violence is when one person deliberately causes either physical or mental harm to another such as a girlfriend, cousin, mother, aunt or acquaintance.
Domestic violence has different forms that many women experience numerous times daily—from their bosses, spouses, friends or boyfriends/girlfriends. For example: rape, inappropriate touching, vaginal, anal or oral penetration, child molestation or unwanted sexual intercourse. Domestic violence can happen in different places or situations, not just at home.
Mississippi is the capital of domestic violence. The Silent Witness National Initiative shows that the state has the highest rate of domestic homicides among women in the United States. At 8.80 per million. Mississippi is at the top of the list, compared to 3.80 for California, 2.26 for New York State and 2.24 for Wisconsin.
So what turns a young man into a batterer?
Boys who witness abuse of their moms are 10 times more likely to abuse their female partners as adults than those who did not witness this abuse as children. Eighty percent of violent juvenile and adult prisoners experienced domestic violence as children. A big, conscious button pushes men to do this—they believe abusing a woman helps them achieve the dominance they feel they are entitled to, experts say.
Studies have proven that batterers share many of the same characteristics: manipulative, controlling and believe that men should hold complete power in all aspects of a relationship. Batterers do not view themselves as the "bad guy." They often find a way to justify their actions. For example, "Honey, you should not have come near me. You knew I was angry, and you know how I get." Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women 15 to 44.
It's no wonder why women choose to stay instead of leaving a batterer. Those who do leave are at a 75 percent greater risk of death or injury than those who stay. But if you are a woman who "thinks" you are trapped in a domestic or intimate partner violence, think again. You are not trapped, nor are you alone. There is help.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, get immediate help and support. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7223) or contact the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-800-898-3234 (M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) for shelter services. Shelter services include: 24 hour crisis line, temporary housing, advocacy and referral programs, counseling, transportation and more. The Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence After Hours Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.
Before anyone gets into a relationship - and perhaps especially if you've ever been in an abusive relationshipREAD THIS and THIS. These stories deal primarily with workplace bullying but I think it is still HIGHLY relevant to relationship abuse. It's a gold mine, believe me!