Domestic violence warning signDomestic violence is a pattern of controlling and aggressive behaviors from one adult towards another within the context of an intimate relationship.

It can be physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional abuse. Financial abuse and social isolation are also common features.

The violence and abuse can be actual or threatened to occur. It can happen once every so often or on a regular basis.

It can happen to anyone, and in all kinds of relationships! People suffer domestic violence regardless of their social group, class, age, race, disability, sexuality, or lifestyle. The abuse can begin at any time – in new relationships or after many years spent together.

All forms of abuse – psychological, economic, emotional and physical – come from the abuser’s desire for power and control.

These are some “warning signs” to look for in a person who might be, or could become, abusive:
  • witnessed or experienced abuse as a child and may have learned that same behavior
  • loses their temper frequently, or expresses anger in violent ways
  • drinks too much or abuses other drugs
  • is unusually jealous or possessive can be gentle and loving most of the time, but is sporadically violent
  • promises never to hit or abuse again and feels bad, may bring home gifts after a violent outbreak but eventually is violent again.
These are some “warning signs” to look for that may indicate that you or someone you know is being abused:
  • is frightened by their partner’s temper
  • is afraid to disagree with their partner
  • frequently apologizes for their partner’s behavior
  • feels the need to constantly justify and explain everywhere they go and everything they do
  • has been forced by their partner to have sex
  • frequent small injuries, bruises, and scrapes all the way to frequent hospital trips for broken bones with excuses like ,” I fell down the stairs, I am so clumsy, I ran into the door..”
  • does not see or spend time with friends or family because of their partner’s jealousy is repeatedly hurt by their partner
  • is belittled, talked down to and made to feel they are to blame for the violence in the relationship has no access to the family checking accounts
 “What Can I Do?”

Tell someone you trust: It is not easy to admit that you are being abused. However, acting on your decisions is easier when you have support.

  • Safety Planning: This means being aware of your surroundings, and planning where to go and what to do in the case of a violent incident. It includes keeping important papers, documents and any financial support you will need if you and your children have to leave immediately.
  • File for a Protective Order: While this is not a guarantee of safety disobeying any part of this order can cause your perpetrator to spend time in jail.
  • Seek counseling: This can help you raise your self-esteem, make decisions about your life, and understand that you are not to blame for what happened.
  • Seek shelter: If you are in fear for your physical safety, go to a friend’s, a relative’s, a neighbor’s, or to a shelter for victims of domestic violence.
If someone you know is a victim of domestic violence:
  • Be Resource Ready: Be aware of what services are available at the agencies in that person’s area. Keep their phone numbers readily accessible. Remember to encourage calling 911 for emergencies.
  • Tell them you care: Let them know that you are concerned for their safety and the safety and welfare of their children. Make sure they know that you are available to them when they are ready.
  • Don’t judge or criticize: Victims must move at their own pace when making a decision to leave. There are so many issues confronting the victim, such economic, social and emotional issues that you may not understand. It must be their decision – be there to support them no matter what.

Remember you are not alone. Many many people have been through similar experiences like yours….. and S.A.F.E. cares and is here to help.

S.A.F.E. works in partnership with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and other partners in the Southwest Family justice Center. All of the partners are there to serve domestic violence victims and their children together. Call SAFE at the FJC 951-304-5680 or at the SAFE Office 951-587-3900. Help is just a call away.