In regards to domestic violence awareness month, here is SARA post pt 3.
On average, 20 people per minute experience violence from a partner in the US, equalling about 10 million victims annually. Domestic violence is all about control and power. Abusers may use severe control tactics, intimidation, manipulation, humiliation, physical or sexual harm, verbal insults, and many other methods to abuse & harass victims. Oftentimes they will deny the existence of the violence, invalidate or belittle the victim, or make the victim feel deserving of what has happened.
If this is you, you are not alone. You are wonderful, capable, lovely, and strong. You are not worthless, small, stupid, or deserving. It is NOT your fault.
For everyone else: If someone approaches you about an abusive situation, remember the first and best thing you can do is to lend an ear. Be silent. Just listen. Let them have their voice and their say and their story. I remember when I was barely a teenager, adults around me always told me all the things I had to do & action I had to take and I felt SO disempowered because a) they never actually stopped to listen to me and b) I had been without any control for so long and I still wasn't being given any choice. Although it's important to encourage victims to seek safety and to do what they can to escape their abusers, don't pressure them or tell them what to do. Just let them know they are worthy and capable. Also understand leaving is not always simple and there are complex reasons why victims don't. Many abusers will go to extreme lengths to prevent victims from leaving. There might be fear of: Safety for themselves or other loved ones, financial hardship and homelessness, losing child custody, or lack of support from law enforcement. They might make make excuses or even feel deserving of it.
Bottom line: Any abuse is not okay. Even if they aren't hitting you, psychological and verbal abuse is real and it's still abuse. If you are in this situation, please seek help. If you need an ear, I am here. Or, for anonymous 24/7 help you can call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.