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National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By: Alina Badzilouskaya

Mental Health Counseling Intern

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence (e.g., beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner in their lifetime. However, domestic violence is still one of the most chronically underreported crimes.

Signs of an abusive relationship:

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. There is NO "typical victim." Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, varying age groups, all backgrounds, all communities, all education levels, all economic levels, all cultures, all ethnicities, all religions, and all abilities.

Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. Abusive relationships always involve an imbalance of power and control. An abuser uses intimidating, hurtful words and behaviors to control his or her partner.

Red flags and warning signs of an abuser include but are not limited to:

Extreme jealousy


Verbal abuse

Extremely controlling behavior

Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships

Forced sex or disregard of their partner's unwillingness to have sex

Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens

Sabotage or obstruction of the victim's ability to work or attend school

Controls all the finances

Abuse of other family members, children, or pets

Control of what the victim wears and how they act

Demeaning the victim either privately or publicly

Embarrassment or humiliation of the victim in front of others

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