House of Ruth shares warning signs of domestic violence
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -
Blackened eyes, bruised arms, unexplained injuries are all warning signs of domestic violence that easily catch the eye, but even when physical harm is not present in a relationship abuse can be.
Domestic violence is about controlling someone’s mind and emotion as much as it is about hurting them," says House of Ruth prevention educator Karen Boyd.
That includes neglect and sexual and emotional abuse including being yelled at, not given money for basic needs, being kept away from family, friends, and medical care, and death threats.
“This is a big one here that we are seeing a lot of called gaslighting where the abuser is making the victim feel like they are losing their minds. This is really really bad and this a lot of times will cause a victim to put herself into isolation,” says Boyd.
Spotting warning signs of domestic violence is not always black and white especially when you are the victim.
The prevention educator lists fear and instincts above all other that should alert a person that they are in an abusive relationship
“If you are scared of your partner. If you are afraid to say how you feel if you’re afraid to bring up certain topics or say no to sex, no matter what the reason is fear is not the place for a healthy relationship,” says Boyd.
“Trust your instincts. If you feel like you are being abused 99.9% of the time you are,” Boyd adds.
If you fall into any of these categories, you are encouraged to call the House of Ruth and speak with an advocate.
“Victims don’t sit in silence. Don’t sit behind closed doors. Try as hard as you can to seek help,” says Boyd.
The House of Ruth will hold its annual domestic violence candlelight vigil Thursday night at 5:30 at Wiregrass Church to mourn those lost to domestic violence this past year, celebrate survivors, and spread awareness.
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