Abuse Is A Common Crime
20 people are abused by an intimate partner every minute, adding up to 10 million each year. One of those people could be your mom, your sister, your best friend or even you. Attackers are often unknown and commit their crimes in secrecy. They could be a co-worker, friend, brother, cousin etc. and hopefully not you. It can come in many forms from verbal to physical and it is not only limited to one gender.
Here's the shocking statistic of domestic violence:
- 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
- 1/4 of women worldwide will experience domestic/dating violence in their lifetime.
- Women between the ages of 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
- Domestic violence is most likely to take place between 6 pm and 6 am.
- The costs of domestic violence amount to more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.
- As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.
- Boys who witness domestic violence are 2 times as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
- 1/2 of all homeless women and children in the U.S. are fleeing from domestic violence.
- Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
- In 60% to 80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
Often, attackers will go completely unnoticed by the general public but a large number of cases are unreported because others aren't willing to step up and talk with authorities about suspicious activity. It's up to all of us to protect the ones that can't protect themselves but what if you don't know what an abusive relationship looks like? Abusive people can be hidden in plain sight.
Do you know the warning signs?
Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship
- your partner tries to control your behavior
- your partner threatens to harm you, your pets or people you love
- you’re scared of your partner.
- They put you down, either publicly or privately, by attacking your intelligence, looks, mental health or capabilities.
- They constantly compare you unfavorably to others.
- They blame you for all the problems in your relationship, and for their violent outbursts.
- They say things like, 'No one else will want you.'
- They yell or sulk, and deliberately break things that you value.
- They threaten to use violence against you, your family, friends or a pet.
- They push, shove, hit or grab you, or make you have sex or do things you don't want to do.
- They harm you, your pets or your family members.
Who Does It Effect?
The darkness of this heinous act reaches more people than you might think. Children learn from their parents and when they see their father's and mother's being abusive, they may just pick up the habit as well. Every action has an influence on the ones around you. If someone is abusive and they get away with it, their friends and family members might think it's okay as well and continue the trend.
If you are affected by domestic abuse as an outsider seeing suspicious activities, please talk to the potential victims and unravel the truth behind some relationships. It may just save someone's life. PTSD is real and joking about beating victims is also a form of abuse in itself. Be careful what you say because you never know what some people might have gone through or is going through.
Here's a story of abuse from both the attacker's point of view as well as the victim. Learn why being an abuser will leave you in shame and regret. Prevent it from happening in the first place and never let yourself become the source of someone's misery.
Breaking The Stigma. Abuse Comes In Many Forms.
There are many forms of abuse that are often not talked about and that's emotional abuse on men as well as women. In today's society men are expected to be "tough" and show no hurt or pain from words but as many victims of bullying would know, that is simply not true. Being a strong male doesn't mean you are emotionless and it doesn't make you "weak" if someone is constantly putting you down and making you feel unworthy. Men can be abused as well and when they reach out for help, they often get laughed at and receive shame for it rather than receive proper mental healthcare.
The stigma of men talking about emotions needs to end. Suicide is a common killer among those seeking help but receives ridicule instead. Depression and abuse can be caused by both genders and anyone can be a potential victim or potential abuser. Never shame a victim regardless of their age, gender, sexuality race, religion etc.
A Malicious Mind Control
The psychological grasp abusers have on victims is something that they use to continue their abusive behaviors. It's a common belief that victims can just leave at any time and although that is true, it is important to understand that some victims may feel threatened if they leave. Do you have malicious mind control over your partner?
- Get angry or insecure about your partner’s relationships with others (friends, family, coworkers) and feel possessive?
- Frequently call and text to check up on your partner, or have them check in with you?
- Check up on your partner in different ways? (Ex. Reading their personal emails, checking their texts)
- Feel like your partner needs to ask your permission to go out, get a job, go to school or spend time with others?
- Get angry when your partner doesn’t act the way you want them to or do what you want them to?
- Blame your anger on drugs, alcohol, or your partner’s actions?
- Find it very difficult to control your anger and calm down?
- Express your anger by threatening to hurt your partner, or actually physically doing so?
- Express your anger verbally through raising your voice, name calling or using put-downs?
- Forbid your partner from spending money, or require that they have an allowance and keep receipts of their spending?
- Force or attempt to force your partner to be intimate with you?
- Blow up in anger at small incidents or “mistakes” your partner makes?
How does your partner react?
- Seem nervous around you?
- Seem afraid of you?
- Cringe or move away from you when you’re angry?
- Cry because of something you don’t let them do, or something you made them do?
- Seem scared or unable to contradict you or speak up about something?
- Restrict their own interaction with friends, co-workers or family in order to avoid displeasing you?
If any of these behaviors sound familiar to how you act or how your partner reacts, it could be a red flag that you may be hurting them. This can be a difficult and unnerving realization to come to.
By acknowledging now that your behaviors might be questionable and taking responsibility for them, you’re a step ahead in beginning to correct them.
Love is a beautiful thing but It can also be an excuse for fear. Do you truly love your partner if they constantly put you down and harm you? Love is supposed to create nothing but euphoria and happiness, not pain and loneliness. Understand your emotions and know there's always a way out of these relationships. Never feel shame for reaching out for help, your friends, family, and community is there for you. You can also contact this hotline anonymously for guidance and reassurance on your decision to leave: https://www.thehotline.org/
Make a plan, gain support from your peers, and don't be afraid to involve legal authorities for added protection. Your health and wellbeing are more important than a relationship based on fear and violence.
Domestic Abuse In Our Community
A victim could be someone you know, someone you share the mats with. Here's a story from a member of the jiu-jitsu community that started training because of her past involvement with an abusive partner. Learn how self-defence techniques and martial arts programs like jiu-jitsu can help past victims gain their confidence back and prevent future attacks as well.
What can you do to help?
Now that you are better educated on this subject and you want to help victims and prevent tragedies from happening the next step is to take actionable steps to stop this epidemic. Here are some ideas on how you can be a part of the solution instead of adding to the problem.
- Call the authorities (I know it's looked down upon to ask for external help but if the victim was someone you cared about, wouldn't you want someone to call and help them?)
- Talk to the abuser and explain to them what they are doing is wrong
- Reach out to the victims and show support for what they are going through
- Promote self-defense programs and encourage martial arts for any potential victims
- Hire a lawyer. Sometimes a restraining order is needed to better protect a victim. This process may be overwhelming for victims so it may be a good idea to help connect them to a trusted lawyer.
- Don't be judgemental (Remember to never blame the victim)
- Learn more about how you can help a friend or a family that's experiencing abuse.
- Support awareness campaigns and donate to charities.
Submission Shark has partnered with Zeda Zhang, a pro wrestling superstar, MMA practitioner, model, dancer, and singer to help raise awareness and support HomeFront.
Learn More about her struggles with domestic abuse and get inspired by her story to never give up on your dreams. She went through a lot to get to where she is now and her fighting spirit makes it a great read for anyone.
HomeFront is a non-profit organization in Calgary that works alongside the justice system, police and community partners to help free families from domestic violence. Through a unique collaborative model, HomeFront works to ensure that victims are safer and offenders are being held accountable.
You can support Zeda Zhang and our charity collaboration project by purchasing items from this collection. Raise awareness and support a well-deserving person while raising money to help stop domestic abuse. What's stopping you from joining the Zhang Gang? Order now :)
Profits will be donated to HomeFront.
What are your thoughts on this growing problem? Let us know in the comments below!
North, A. (2010, April 5). Domestic violence: Are women as abusive as men? Retrieved from http://jezebel.com/5509717/domestic-violence-are-women-as-abusive-as-men...
Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ncadv.org/learn/statistics