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Recognize, Report and Prevent Domestic Violence!

FACT: An act of domestic abuse occurs every 12 seconds in the U.S. Too many American women live in fear of the very people upon whom they depend for love and affection. Instead of providing refuge, the walls of many homes serve as prison bars.

WHAT IS DOMESTIC ABUSE? Domestic abuse, or "battering", is a pattern of abuse by one partner against the other, for the purpose of maintaining power and control. Domestic abuse often includes (but NOT ALWAYS) physical abuse. Forms of domestic abuse can include:Recognize, Report and Prevent Domestic Violence!

Physical battering: The abuser's attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks (this can include the abuse of household pets).

Sexual abuse: Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual abuse where the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser, or to engage in unwanted sexual activity.Recognize, Report and Prevent Domestic Violence!

Psychological battering: The abuser's psychological or mental abuse can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, fault-finding, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying lock-downs, social distancing, and other mitigation measures have only exacerbated domestic violence. Historically, domestic violence has increased during pandemics and economic crises, both of which we are experiencing right now, and this time is no different. Incidences of domestic violence are increasing while the usual escapes for survivors - shelters, police restraining orders, friends and family, and others may not be accessible now due to fears of contracting and/or spreading the virus, social distancing, and limited services. Therefore, it is more important than ever to raise awareness about domestic violence and know the warning signs of abuse.Recognize, Report and Prevent Domestic Violence!

Warning Signs of Partner Abuse in a Relationship:

Telling you that you never do anything right.
Showing extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away from them.
Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with friends, family members, or peers.
Insulting, demeaning, or shaming you, especially in front of other people.
Preventing you from making your own decisions, including about working or attending school.
Controlling finances in the household without discussion, including taking your money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses.
Pressuring you to have sex or perform sexual acts you're not comfortable with.
Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol.
Intimidating you through threatening looks or actions.
Insulting your parenting or threatening to harm or take away your children or pets.
Intimidating you with weapons like guns, knives, bats, or mace.
Destroying your belongings or your home.

ARE YOU IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP? Think about how you are being treated and how you treat your partner. Remember, when one person scares, hurts, or continually puts down the other, it is abuse. Talk to someone. Without some help, the abuse will continue.

Domestic violence is often considered a hidden issue that happens behind closed doors but it doesn't have to be that way. Let us raise awareness about the signs of domestic violence. Let's talk to our friends and family, coworkers, and neighbors. Let's wear our purple ribbon to affirm that love shouldn't hurt! Together, we can end domestic violence!

Remember to contact me at City Hall with your ideas, suggestions or concerns. I represent you and appreciate your input into the continued success of our beloved city. I can be reached at (954) 329-8990 or by email at: fbrunson@cityofwestpark.org.