Surviving Domestic Violence – What You Can Do
Domestic violence is a horrific blight on society. Worldwide nearly one in three women is the victim of domestic violence; in the United States it is not quite as bad-only one in four-only! We saw a statistic recently that the number of times that a woman gets hit by her partner before she files a complaint is 35.
One of the reasons that women put up with this abuse, whether it’s verbal, psychological or physical is that they fear that getting out of the relationship and leaving may be worse than the abuse itself. That is a key component of domestic violence-the male control of the female-he does it by economic, sexual and financial manipulation of his partner.
In the annual report by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development they “found that 64% of unmet requests from victims were for housing. Overall 12.3% of the sheltered homeless population are domestic violence survivors.”
In another statistic, it was reported that the percentage of homeless women that had domestic abuse was 63%. The percentage of homeless women with children that had domestic abuse was 92%.
There was a study recently by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, and it showed a strong relationship between domestic violence and homelessness. Abused women are frequently forced to flee their domicile or continue the economic, emotional and physical abuse of their partner. Not a pleasant or easy choice.
The choice to leave an abusive relationship requires financial resources and a sense of independence which most females in a relationship don’t have. Women are usually cut off from friends and family and are afraid to seek shelter with them because the abusive partner can find them easily. An abusive partner can attempt “being in control of the relationship through financial manipulation and sabotage including ruining credit, and depleting joint bank accounts.”
Leaving a violent domestic abuse situation and going into the world of the unknown with no financial resources is similar to jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. It is easy to see why more women don’t make that change. Financial safety is just as important as physical safety. Abusive men want control over women, and one way to do it is to dominate finances and housing.
But domestic violence shelters are subject to the same constraints of any government subsidized program. Currently there are severe financial budget cuts that present big challenges for their future. Overcrowding in these shelters is a big issue.
Domestic violence shelters are different from homeless shelters in that they offer specific resources for victims of domestic violence, including counseling and resources to help prevent a recurrence.
Any woman who is in it domestic violence relationship should arm herself with some self-defense products such as stun guns or pepper sprays to provide immediate relief from an assault and learn some basic self-defense techniques.
The decision to leave an abusive relationship is a very difficult, emotional and personal one that should be thought out carefully. With some planning and resources it can happen but it usually requires outside help which is available.
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