Domestic violence is an increasingly concerning topic in our era. To start off this post I want to begin with some self-disclosure. I’ve been in two domestically violent relationships. One from the year 2006 to 2008 where I was the survivor and another from 2009 to 2013 where I was the batterer.

Domestic violence comes in different forms, there is physical abuse which includes behavior such as,

·      hitting, slapping, punching, kicking

·      burning, strangulation

·      damaging personal property

·      use of weapons

There is emotional abuse which includes behavior such as,

·      constant and excessive insulting

·      extreme jealousy

·      stalking

·      shaming & humiliating

·      controlling everything the partner does

·      isolating

There is sexual abuse which includes behavior such as,

·      Forcing a partner to have sex with other people

·      Pursuing sexual activity when the survivor isn’t fully conscious

·      Hurting partner physically during sex

There is technological abuse which includes behavior such as,

·      Hacking into someone’s email & personal accounts

·      Using tracking devices in a partner’s cell to monitor location

·      Monitoring interactions via social media

·      Demanding to know passwords

There is financial abuse which includes behavior such as,

·      Inflicting physical harm that would prevent the person from going to work

·      Harassing partner at their workplace

·      Controlling financial assets

·      Damaging a person’s credit score

Once again full disclosure, I’ve been abused in almost every category described above (details of this relationship will be in my sister’s and I memoir titled Rose from the concrete) I am familiar with the feelings associated with this abuse and the emotions and trauma thereafter.  The experience follows you for the rest of your life & you have a hard time trusting people and building healthy relationships if the proper help isn’t sought. Now, I’ve also been in a later relationship where I have slapped a man, broke two of his sidekicks in half because of messages I saw, looked through his phone, enabled the GPS for me to monitor his location at all times without him knowing, hacked into his accounts, showed up at his place of employment, a bunch of craziness I engaged in, & it was because of what I’ve been exposed to. I thought that was the normal way to handle conflict in my relationship. I constantly blamed my then boyfriend of “making me” do these things by his actions. Now I’m older and look back at myself I am extremely disappointed, once again I’m human and the only way to truly right my wrongs is changed behavior. Something I would like to make clear and not justifying any domestically violent action, but this behavior stems from a lack of self-love and love for the people around them & a lack of self-control. I had to start loving myself and reevaluate my values system and what was important before I can enable the changed behavior.  

It is important to understand and identify warning signs, below are questions you may want to ask yourself:

Does your partner constantly insult you or put you down?

Does your partner want to know where you are and who you’re with at all times?

Does your partner act jealous of your friends and family?

Does your partner blame you for his or her violence?

Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or themselves if the relationship ends?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then it is important for you to seek help. Please call the 24-hour national hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to help stop the violence.

Something I also want to make clear is, abuse and mental illness are two separate entities. They can coincide, but one’s abusive behavior does not stem from their illness. Yes, it can appear that an abusive partner has a mental illness when they get upset but this reaction is based on their value system, not their psychological makeup. It is important for you the survivor to understand that abuse is a choice an individual makes, whether they have been through trauma, abused by others, or suffering from a mental illness you deserve to have a healthy, loving, supportive, trusting & safe relationship.

Please don’t be scared to ask for help if you or anyone you know a man or female is in a domestically violent relationship Please call the 24-hour national hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to help stop the violence.