The prevalence of Domestic Violence (DV) occurs world-wide in all levels of society, and does not discriminate against gender, race, creed, level of education, financial status or religious affiliation. The statistics found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_statistics outlining the scope of the problem, are shocking and disturbing. Manifestation of DV may lead to both physical warning signs and psychological distress in the victim. Some victims may show obvious signs of physical traumatic injury, but they may also complain of non-injury somatic complaints, such as chronic abdominal pain, headaches or mysterious medical symptoms/ conditions that may seem unrelated to an abusive relationship and/or cannot be explained by diagnostics tests.

 

   Symptoms of domestic violence can include: physical violence such as shoving, slapping, choking, or hitting you; humiliation and put-downs; intimidation and domination over what you do, who you socialize with, or where you go; isolating and prohibiting you from seeing your friends or family members; economic abuse such as controlling your money or paycheck, making you ask for money, or refusing to give you a rudimentary allowance for basic needs; denying you the right to make decisions; telling you that you're a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children; preventing you from working or going to school; acting like the abuse is no big deal or is your fault, or even deny doing it and destroying your property. And as symptoms escalate, threaten to kill you, your children or your pets; frightening you with guns, knives, or other weapons; or even threatening to commit suicide if you leave.

 

   Physical signs and indicators that you or someone you know is being abused may include: Bruises or injuries that look like they came from choking, punching, or being thrown down; black eyes, red or purple marks at the neck, and sprained wrists that are sometimes bound in a make-shift brace; attempting to hide bruises with makeup or clothing; making excuses like tripping or being accident-prone or clumsy; being isolated from relatives and coworkers and kept from making friends; having to ask permission to do things with other people; having little money available; may not have credit cards or even have access to a car.

 

Emotional sequelae of persistent/prolonged or intermittent abuse may lead to a decrease in self-esteem, loss of trust, feelings of shame or guilt, depression, substance abuse, promiscuity or prostitution, excessive spending or gambling, unfounded anxiety, irrational fear, suicide, and other behavioral problems. In most cases, the victim never tells anyone about the abuse, and the subsequent aftermath of DV is simply tolerated or ignored. If any of these things or other types of abuse are happening, it is imperative that you seek help. Your life may depend on it!

 

It's important to know that you are not alone. The abusive way your spouse/partner acts IS NOT YOUR FAULT. You may contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for more information or contact this office at 954-779-2855 to schedule an appointment. Help is available and you can put a stop to the suffering.

 

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