Domestic violence is a scary thing. Sadly, it goes unreported sometimes because those who suffer love the people who are assaulting them and believe that they can change. The World Health Organization has released some disturbing statistics recently about domestic violence against women. According to their data 35% of women are affected globally by s*xual or physical violence in the home. 30% of women suffer abuse at the hands of their own partner whom they love.
British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson had photos posted last month of her being allegedly choked by her husband, Charles Saatchi. He claimed that it was just a playful fight after he was given a warning about the assault. Lawson never pressed charges in the incident but was seen moving out of their home the next week.
Not only does domestic violence impair a woman’s physical appearance, it impairs her health as well. Women who are beaten by their partners are twice as likely to abuse drugs or alcohol and twice as likely to have issues with depression. They are twice as likely to have an abortion due to s*xual abuse and one and a half times more likely to get an STD. New guidelines are being put in place to help medical professionals spot abuse injuries as many women will come in saying they ran into a door or some other accident instead of coming out and saying that they have been assaulted.
If you feel threatened or unsafe in your home follow these tips:
1. Talk to someone who can be an advocate for you. Even if you aren’t really sure if you are in immediate danger or not, speak with someone at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-799-7233).
2. Find a friend or family member that you can trust and tell them what is going on. You need someone that you can go to in the case of an emergency. It is best to have someone whom your partner doesn’t know or doesn’t know the address of in case you need to hide.
3. Document all of your injuries. They can be physical, emotional, or mental. If you see a doctor, ask if they can take photos of the injuries to go along with a clear statement of who caused them.
4. Trust your instincts and know the signs. Abuse can come in many forms and if you feel that you are being abused in any way, take action.