KNOW THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE By Neda Bencun, Submitted by Kathy O’Neill, RN-Parish Nurse
Domestic violence, also referred to as interpersonal violence and intimate partner violence because it does not only happen in a domestic situation, is defined by the National Domestic Violence Hotline as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Cindy Hartwig, executive director of women’s service at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., wants to raise awareness of interpersonal violence and provide resources for victims seeking help.
“Interpersonal violence can be physical or psychological and can affect anyone of any age, gender, race, religion, economic status, nationality or sexual orientation,” Hartwig says. “Statistics show that interpersonal violence impacts one in three women and one in four men, which is alarming.”
Types of abuse:
• Sexual abuse is exploiting or forcing someone to engage in sexual behavior without informed consent and
may involve both verbal and physical behavior.
• Verbal abuse is using abusive language to embarrass or threaten the victim.
• Economic abuse is using money to control and manipulate the victim. Often, it means limiting the victim’s
access to shared funds, keeping financial secrets or providing them with an allowance.
How to determine if you are a victim of interpersonal violence? Does your partner or spouse:
• Control what you do, who you talk to or where you go?
• Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?
• Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
• Control the money in the relationship?
• Tell you that you are a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
• Prevent you from working or attending school?
• Deny the abuse or tell you it is your own fault?
The Illinois Domestic Violence Help Line (877-863-6338) offers victims a 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, safety planning, legal advocacy, children’s services, temporary food and housing and education on domestic violence.