October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

   Counseling & Testing Center | Posted on October 18, 2018

Identifying and Responding to an Abusive Relationship

Here are some signs of an abusive relationship. Your partner may be abusive if he or she:

  • Constantly accuses you of having an affair
  • Bites, slaps, punches or kicks you
  • Throws things at you or breaks objects during an argument
  • Belittles you in front of your friends and family
  • Makes you feel afraid to express your opinions or wishes
  • Monitors who you speak to and whom you go out with
  • Blames you for his/her appearance
  • Threatens you or swears at you
  • Criticizes all you do
  • Disrespects you, your family and your friends
  • Refuses to let you have your own money or handle your finances
  • Forces you to have sex
  • Demonstrates extreme possessiveness or jealousy

It is very important not to blame the victim. Avoid accusatory or dismissive statements such as:

  • “I'm sure he/she didn`t really mean to hurt you”
  • “It's no big deal; you'll get over it”
  • “What did you do to provoke it?”
  • “Don`t tell anyone about this; it's too embarrassing”

Instead, use comforting statements such as these:

  • “I'm so sorry you had to go through this; no one should have to hurt.”
  • “It's not your fault; you didn`t do anything to deserve this.”
  • “I'm here for you whenever you feel like sharing and praying.”
  • “I'm glad you shared with me; together we can find you some help.”

A victim of abuse may stay with his/her abuser for the following reasons:

  • Fearful for his/her life
  • He/she will lose his/her children
  • Embarrassment
  • Feels it is his/her Christian duty to keep the marriage together no matter what
  • Guilt for what may happen to the abuser if he/she leaves
  • Feels responsible for abuser`s actions (deserved abuse)
  • He/she may not get support from family and friends
  • Abuse may get worse if he/she tries to leave
  • Fearful about surviving financially without spouse
  • Hopes that the abuser may change

If you suspect someone you know is being abused:

  • Call the authorities and report the abuse
  • Find out about abuse prevention agencies in your area; call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and initiate the help needed
  • Listen without interrupting and don't feel as though you have to offer advice
  • Encourage him/her to seek professional counseling
  • Don't criticize the abuser
  • Offer to be a prayer partner
  • Invite him/her to join you on outings without bringing up the abuse situation
  • Keep your word and frequently follow-up to see how he/she is doing

If you have been abused, help is available to you!

  • Contact the authorities, your pastor, doctor, family member or friend and let them know that you have been abused
  • Call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to get help and to find out about the laws in your area
  • The abuse may have left you with many emotional scars; try to schedule regular counseling sessions with a licensed therapist
  • You may have been hurt physically; ask your doctor for a thorough examination
  • Ask someone you feel comfortable with to be your prayer partner—to pray with you daily and offer encouragement whenever you feel weak or lonely

FOR HELP IN ENGLISH OR SPANISH:

Call the confidential National Domestic Violence Hotline for referrals to resources in your area.

USA: 800-799-SAFE [7233]

Canada: 800-363-9010

FOR COUNSELING HELP ON THE ANDREWS UNIVERSITY CAMPUS:

Counseling & Testing Center, Bell Hall 123, 269-471-3470

IN URGENT NEED ON ANDREWS UNIVERSITY CAMPUS:

Campus Safety, 269-471-3321

FOR URGENT CARE ANYWHERE: CALL 911.



Contact:
   Counseling & Testing Center
   
   269-471-3470