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If you've been a victim of domestic violence

If you would like more information about our domestic violence services or to schedule an exam, please call the SPEAK Hotline: 575-303-7070

To speak to a victim advocate, 24/7, call 575-303-7072

If you are in danger: Dial 911 for help

If you are experiencing suicidal or homicidal ideation: Dial 988 for help

If you are injured: Seek medical care or go to the emergency room

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Myths and Facts about Domestic Violence

Myth Domestic violence is not common
    Fact  Every 9 seconds in the U.S., A woman is battered by her husband or partner. The FBI estimates it will happen to 1 out of every 2 women in their lifetime

Myth All Domestic Violence is physical

    Fact  Being abused my include physical violence, but victims may also be abused verbally, emotionally, or psychologically. These forms of abuse can be just as terrifying, and often result in feelings of low self-esteem, depression, and loneliness for the victim

Myth She should just leave the relationship and the abuse will end

    Fact  Fear for her safety is a major deterrent to leaving. 75% of fatalities & serious injuries occur while women are leaving the abusive relationship. Also, many factors such as economic dependence, religious beliefs, lack of resources, social stigma & isolation keep a woman from leaving a violent situation.

Myth It isn't violence when a same-sex couple fights, it's a fair fight between equals

    Fact  This is based on the false assumption that two people of the same gender have no power differences. It ignores the fact that in domestic violence relationships, one partner chooses to take advantage of his or her power in abusive ways

Myth Children aren't aware of, or affected by the violence in their homes
    Fact  Studies show that in 50-70% of cases where one parent is abusing the other, the children are also being abused. Children suffer emotional, cognitive, behavioral & developmental impairments as a result of witnessing domestic violence in the home

Myth Drugs & Alcohol cause domestic violence

    Fact  Abusers frequently make excuses for their violence, claiming loss of control due to alcohol or drug use. Drug or Alcohol use may intensify existing violent behavior, it dos not cause domestic violence

Myth Abusers need to learn how to control their anger

    Fact  Anger management methods are not appropriate because they do not address the root of the abuse. Abuse is not about anger, it is motivated by power and control. Abusers hold attitudes & beliefs that violence is acceptable

Myth Women are just as violent as men

    Fact  Women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than men. The majority of violent crimes in America are perpetrated by men. According to the FBI, in over 95% of all domestic violence incidents, the man is the batterer

Myth Victims provoke their partners' violence or can stop the abuse

    Fact  Victims never control an abuser's actions & are never to blame for such abuse. Violence & Controlling behaviors are never justified or acceptable

The Power and Control Wheel is a helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used by an abuser to establish and maintain control over their partner.

Power-and-Control Wheel.PNG

The Equality wheel is a visual representation of the qualities necessary for healthy relationships and serves as a guide for individuals who have engaged in abusive behavior to transition towards non-violent partnerships.

Equality Wheel.PNG

How to Spot an Abuser

An abuser typically shows abusive tendencies through "red flag" behaviors. Here are some common examples:

Excessive Charm Abusers can be very charming. Abused women have described their abuser when they first met as 'Price Charming' or her 'Knight in Shining Armor'. He can be very engaging, thoughtful, considerate, and charismatic.

Quick Involvement An abuser will often claim "love at first sight" and/or that she is the only person he could ever talk to so openly or who could understand him so well. He needs someone desperately and will pressure her to commit to him before she feels the relationship has reached 'that stage'.

Social Isolation Social isolation usually begins with wanting the woman to spend time with him and not her friends or support system. He then will slowly isolate her from any person who is a support to her. He dictates who she can talk to; he tells her she cannot receive phone calls from her family.

Jealousy Jealousy is a tool abusers use to control their victims. An abuser will question his victim about her daily activities and make baseless accusations. Examples may be things like constantly accusing her of having affairs. If she goes to the grocery store he accuses her of having an affair with the grocery clerk. If she goes to the bank, he accuses her of having an affair with the bank teller. Abusers will usually say that jealousy is a sign of love.

Controlling Behavior Abusers are very controlled and very controlling people. In time, they will control every aspect of the victim's life: how she wears her hair, what clothes she wears, and whom she talks to. Abusers are also very controlled people. While they appear to go into a rage or be out of control we know they are very much in control of their behavior.

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