October is Domestic Violence Month- What is domestic violence? You may be surprised to see what experts consider to be examples of domestic abuse and violence……
Physical Abuse– Hitting, punching, slapping, throwing objects, pushing, shoving, kicking, posturing, hair pulling, confinement, restraining, biting, restricting movement, forcing medication or food on a person or withholding it.
Emotional Abuse– Manipulation, gas lighting, passive aggressive behavior, silent treatment, shaming, blaming, scapegoating, humiliation, punishing, controlling, social isolation, dismissing your opinions and needs, ignoring, unreasonable demands, nitpicking, mood swings, exaggerating flaws, intimidation.
Verbal Abuse– Screaming, cursing, name calling, backhanded compliments, sarcasm, offensive jokes, ordering, verbal rages, lying, threats, constant undermining and interrupting, talking down to, unwarranted accusations, constant criticism.
Sexual Abuse– Using physical force, unwanted sexual advances and comments, child molestation, statutory rape, incest, sexual assault, date rape, having sex with an intoxicated person, cheating and infidelity.
All of the above examples are signs of domestic abuse and violence. Domestic violence affects all social classes, cultures, races, and religions. . The elderly, the disabled, men, women, and children can be victims of domestic violence. There are many forms of domestic violence and abuse. You do not need to get a black eye to be a victim of domestic violence. Words do damage too. Domestic violence is always wrong and is always damaging. If you or a loved one need support contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County at (717) 299-9677. These services are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also call 911 in the case of an emergency. The therapists at Morning Star would be happy to help you process your concerns and experiences related to domestic violence. Please do not stay silent; we are here to support you and to help you heal.