Domestic Violence (DV) — The Personal Side
When I was in high school, one of my friends (let’s call her Laura) dated a guy who often abused her both physically and emotionally. She was tragically affected by domestic violence, but at the time I had no idea. All I knew was that her boyfriend (let’s call him Rob) did not seem very nice, and from time to time told my friend that she could not spend time with me. While I had no idea just how badly Rob was treating Laura, I always had a “feeling” something was wrong.
If you are a friend of someone involved in an abusive relationship, you may have “the feeling” too—the feeling that something is not quite right, that the partner “is not very nice,” or just the general sense that something is off. Here are some signs to look for if you are concerned someone you know is being abused:
- Bruises or injuries
- Black eyes or marks near or around the neck
- Making excuses like tripping or being accident-prone
- Having few close friends and/or being isolated from relatives/friends
- Having to ask permission to do things with other people
- Having low self-esteem
- Having a drug or alcohol abuse problem
- Having symptoms of depression, such as sadness or hopelessness, or loss of interest in daily activities
If you know someone who is being abused there are several ways you can help—whether it is just listening or helping the person find a shelter in order to safely leave the violent relationship. For tips on how to help someone who is being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) or log onto the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website to find the nearest program offering shelter and legal support.
Counseling is helpful for any person affected by domestic violence. A skilled licensed mental health counselor can help people recovering from domestic violence cope, learn about DV, and protect themselves in the future. Just as it takes time for bruises to heal, the emotional trauma resulting from DV takes time to heal, as well. A counselor can help facilitate the healing process with skill, empathy, expertise and support. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.