How to spot domestic abuse

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Every October, we are reminded of the seriousness of domestic abuse and we take the month to honor those who have been forced to endure violence in their own homes.

Approximately three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, according to This number is even higher because not everyone feels confident in coming forward to speak about their situation.

When domestic abuse is brought up, most of the time, it focuses on its violent nature. But domestic abuse is more than just that. Domestic abuse occurs when there are two people in an intimate relationship and someone is dominating and controlling the other person.

Although women are more susceptible to domestic abuse than men, there are still men who endure the hardships of abuse in their relationships. Men and women ranging from all age groups are prone to domestic abuse because there is no discrimination when it comes to this.

According to Asia Johnson, her friend was in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend for two years. “Every time she would leave him, she would always go right back and I couldn’t ever get her to stay away from him,” Johnson said.

 Oftentimes, the aggressor has manipulated their significant other into staying with them no matter what.

Johnson said, “I first noticed that something was off about their relationship at a house party when he came in and grabbed her arm really tight.”

When you are in a relationship with someone, the signs that typically appear before the physical abuse are threats or verbal assault.

One of the major things to look for if you are unsure if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship is if the person in the relationship acts excessively jealous and possessive when it comes to their partner. People who display this trait are typically like this because they don’t ever want you to leave them, especially for someone else.

Every year more than 10 million people in the United States experience physical abuse in relationships. Essentially, when you first start to be with someone, they don’t show their abusive side until they feel as though both people in the relationship are comfortable or until they can no longer control themselves.

Janisha Young, the survivor of an abusive relationship, said, “Oh yeah, at first he was so considerate and funny. But as time passed, some of the jokes he made got really dark and when he put his hands to my throat for the first time, it had been about seven months into our relationship.”

If you or someone you know is in need of immediate attention, call 9-1-1, and if you’re not sure what to do about your abusive situation, call the domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-799-7233.