Too often we look at others and the situation they are in and think to ourselves, “That could never happen to me.”
This statement is true for many areas of our life, but it is often most true for the concept of domestic violence. I decided to send out a series of questions to my Instagram followers in regards to domestic violence. I wanted to hear from them and their thoughts on this crime type.
The first question is asked, “Do you know what Domestic Violence is?”
Many of the responses I received allowed me to know that many people know what the general concept is, however they associated domestic violence with only physical abuse. The reality is that domestic violence is much more. National Council Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) provides a great definition: “Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, economic, and emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically” (NCADV, 2020, p. 1).
The second question I asked: “Have you ever experienced it or could ever experience it?”
The responses varied and people became open to the idea that although this was something they would never wish on themselves, once again the reality is that it could happen to them or someone close to them. This is a crime type that does not pick and choose who it will affect. It affects people from all walks of life, whether directly or indirectly.
According to NCADV (2020) “Domestic Violence is prevalent in every community, and affects all people regardless of age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime” (NCADV, 2020, p. 1). Many of my Instagram followers disclosed knowing at least one person within their lives who was or is currently a victim of domestic violence. This knowledge pushed me to ask my third and final question.
The third question: “Do you know the warning signs or red flags of domestic violence?”
The responses I received allowed me to see that many people are unaware of some of the warning signs and red flags. As a young woman who works in this field, but also has dated here and there, I have found that knowing the warning signs, red flags and healthy relationship tips have been helpful in weeding out people who may become potentially dangerous. It is important that as individuals we are able to identify the red flags for domestic violence because this will allow us to not only speak up for ourselves and it will allow us to speak up and advocate for those around us. Some of the red flags and warning signs can be found on https://www.thehotline.org/ and https://ncadv.org/.
Palm Beach County Victim Services & Certified Rape Crisis Center is available to provide services to anyone within Palm Beach County who has experienced or is experiencing domestic violence. We strive to ensure that all our victims and survivors know their rights and know the services that are available to them. We have 5 locations throughout Palm Beach County filled with advocates and therapists who are able to help our victims on advocacy services, injunctions, therapy services and much more. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence. Our 24-hour helpline number is 561-833-7273 or (TTY): 561-624-6500
If you would like to know more about Palm Beach County Victim Services please follow us on Facebook and Instagram @PBCVictimServices
About Me – Kristen
I have been working with Palm Beach County Victim Services & Certified Rape Crisis Center since November 2019. I started as the Afterhours Victims Advocate and recently became the Temporary Grant Coordinator. Prior to Victim Services I worked at Women in Distress of Broward County as a residential advocate for many years. While working at WID, I became passionate about working with victims of domestic violence. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at Florida Atlantic University and I am currently pursuing my Masters of Arts in Leadership; Non-Profit Management at Southeastern University. I enjoy DIY projects, decorating, reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family.
Suggested citation: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2020). Domestic violence. Retrieved from https://assets.speakcdn.com/assets/2497/domestic_violence-2020080709350855.pdf?1596811079991 [assets.speakcdn.com]