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As humans, it’s normal to desire companionship. It’s normal to desire intimacy. However, while these desires are natural, there comes a time when we must overlook our desires and look out for our well-being. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a time to acknowledge domestic abuse survivors and speak up for victims, even if these victims are close to home. 

Statistics show that an average of 20 people are abused by partners every minute. That is more than 10 million victims a year. Abuse is also higher amongst women than men, with 1 in 3 women experiencing physical abuse and 1 in 4 men experiencing physical abuse.

Knowing the signs is the best way to determine if your relationship is unhealthy and to combat domestic violence. It is important to remember that not everyone experiences domestic violence in the same way. 

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Knowing The Signs

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, here are the red flags of an abusive relationship:

  • Extreme jealousy
  • Possessiveness
  • Unpredictability
  • A bad temper
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Verbal abuse
  • Extremely controlling behavior
  • Antiquated beliefs about the roles of women and men in relationships
  • Forced sex or disregard for their partner’s unwillingness to have sex
  • Sabotage of birth control methods or refusal to honor agreed-upon methods
  • Blaming the victim for anything wrong 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
  • Accusations of the victim flirting with others or having an affair
  • 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
  • Harassment of the victim at work

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline offers confidential help at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Remember, love should never come at the expense of yourself.

Written by TeAsia Royster