The Victims of Domestic Violence
Anyone can be a victim! Anyone can be a prey! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Both men and women can be abused but most victims are women, and most perpetrators are men. Children living in homes where domestic violence resides are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes are aware of the violence. Even if the child is not physically harmed, he or she may incur emotional and behavior problems due to the said violence.
A person of color. You may be afraid of discrimination. You may be afraid of being blamed for going out of your community for help. You may feel hopeless because of the stigma that domestic violence happens only to women of color. Therefore, you will not receive any help.
A lesbian, gay, or transgendered person. You may be afraid of having people know about your sexual orientation. You may be afraid of prejudice. You may think that the law does not acknowledge homosexual relationships.
A physically or mentally challenged or elderly. You may depend on your abuser to care for you. You may not have other people to help you. You may believe that you deserve the abuse because you are somewhat a burden to your partner.
A male victim of abuse. You may be ashamed and scared that no one will believe you. You may be afraid that people will think less of you and undermine your manhood.
A person from another country. You may be afraid of being deported. You may be afraid of not being treated fairly in courts.
If your religion makes it hard to get help. You may feel like you have to stay and not break up the family. You may believe that it is a sin in the eyes of God to leave your partner. You may think that by forgiving your abuser will help him change.
A teen. If you are a teen, you could be at risk if you are dating someone who: is very jealous and/or spies on you like breaking into your e-mail account and mobile messages; will not let you end the relationship or break up with him; hurts you in any way, is violent, or brags about hurting and bossing other people around; puts you down or makes you feel bad about having your own life; forces you to have sex or makes you afraid to say no to sex; abuses drugs or alcohol; pressures you to use drugs or alcohol; has a history of bad relationships and blames it on their exes.
It is very difficult for teens to leave their abuser if they attend the same school. They cannot hide from them or avoid them. Gay and lesbian teens are very isolated. They can be more scared of having their sexual orientation known, rather than the fact that they are being abused.
If you think you are being abused, think about getting help. THERE IS HELP. If your family or friends warn you about the person you are dating, think about getting help. AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK. Tell friends, family members or anybody you can trust. Their perspective on your relationship may be more accurate than what you perceive it to be. There is help for you. You do not have to suffer in silence.
A child in a violent home. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Parents may think children do not know about the violence, merely because they are not in the same room when it happens. Children often know what happened. They do not have to be eyewitnesses per se. They may hear the pounding and screaming. They may feel the tension between you and your husband. Sometimes, they blame their selves for the violence. Children living with violence are helpless, scared and upset.
Violence in the home is dangerous for children. Scary noises, yelling and hitting is not an acceptable environment for raising a child. They are afraid for their parents and themselves. They fear of being taken away to live in homes or shelters. Children feel bad and small for they cannot stop the abuse. If they try to stop the fight, they are putting themselves in harm’s way. They can get hit by things that are thrown or weapons that are used. Children are equally damaged by domestic violence, just by seeing and hearing the violence.
Children in violent homes may not get the utmost care they need. A parent who is being abused may be in too much pain to cater to their child’s needs.
Children who live in violent homes can have various problems such as an inability to sleep and to interact with others. They often feel sad and scared all the time. They may grow up feeling bad about themselves for not being able to stop the abuse. These problems do not go away on their own accord. They can be deeply ingrained in the child’s psyche.
There is help for children in violent homes. They can also help if you grew up in a violent home.
If you are being stalked. Stalking is repeated harassment that makes you feel like a prisoner of fear. A stalker can be someone you are acquainted with or a complete stranger. They often bother people by giving them unwanted attention. This can take the form of phone calls or gifts, or following people by going to where they work or live. This is a threat not only to you, but to your family as well.
Stalking is a crime. People may think stalking is not dangerous because no one has been physically hurt. Stalking is serious crime and is punishable by law. Stalking often turns to physical violence. Put a stop to it before it does.
There is help. Find out how to get a Personal Protection Order (PPO). It is wise to inform the police. You can make a case by keeping track of what the stalker does by: telling the police every time the stalker makes contact with you; keeping a book with you at all times so that you can write down the stalkers contacts; saving phone messages from the stalker; saving letters and gifts from the stalker; and writing down information about the stalker, like the way they look, kind of car they drive and license plate number.
For more information about how to get help, call Common Ground Sanctuary: Toll Free 248.456.0909, 800.231.1127 or HAVEN: Toll Free 248.334.1274, 877.922.1274.