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Are You a Potential Victim of Domestic Violence?

By Morgan Trupp
On February 24, 2016

Courtesy of Willow Domestic Violence Center

There is no specific age, race, economic status, ethnicity, religion or sex that domestic violence can happen to. By learning and recognizing red flags or warning signs of domestic violence abusers, some may be able to help themselves or even someone else.  

A few red flags people should be aware of are isolation, abuse to animals, controlling the significant other’s life and everything they do, and needing passwords for social media and phones. They also struggle with trust for no apparent reason. Isolation is a big key and a prime warning sign. They woo their boyfriend or girlfriend in with lots of positive things, being extra nice and portraying themselves as the most “perfect” person. Not all of these red flags apply to each abuse case but are signs for people to acknowledge.  

The isolation stage consists of separation from friends and even family. Sometimes they strip a person of their social media or phone and convince them they do not need a job. Passwords tend to be important to the abuser because they want to keep track of what their significant other is doing at all times and who they are talking to.  

Some contributing factors of abuse are drug and alcohol abuse, the belief that men are superior to women, and previous abuse to them. What may cause the abuse is the entitlement they feel over the person and their life, distorted feelings of wrong and right and the lack of accountability.  

Many times when someone abuses their victim, they begin to apologize after the fact in a manipulating and loving way. The manipulation starts very early in the relationship without the victim being aware of it.  

Many people continue to wonder why the victim stays in the relationship so long, but it is harder to leave than many people think. Due to the isolation, many of the victims rely on their abuser -- which is exactly what the abuser wants.  

Survivors experience stages in an abusive relationship, such as self-blame, which leads to denial. They are not always sure where to seek help or who to get it from. The biggest barriers to leaving are money, housing and jobs. They have been dependent on their abuser for so long, they hardly have anything of their own anymore.   

Abuse even happens on college campuses. There are a few different types of abuse as well: emotional, verbal, economical, physical and sexual. Economic abuse in college can look like the abuser controlling your money, telling you how to spend it and making you pay his/her tuition or rent. There can also be treats involved in the relationship about them changing schools, threatening suicide or making you do illegal activities.  

They also may try to intimidate their victim by destroying personal property, displaying weapons or creating plans of injury to you or others. With social media being so crucial in a college student’s daily life, this is another way for the abuser to control their victim. They tend to need a victim's password, calling and texting them constantl, and monitoring what they do on social media. 

Domestic violence is a prominent issue everywhere, and someone in need of help at any point in the relationship is important.  

Anyone within Franklin County who is a victim of domestic violence can contact Willow Domestic Violence Center at (785) 242-6300 or visit their website www.willowdbcenter.org for any questions or further help. 

There are protective orders that can be filed with the help of an advocate if needed. A 24-hour hotline is also available at (785) 843-3333. The Care Center is focused on trauma and can be contacted at (785) 843-8985.

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