Domestic abuse does not have to be physical to be experienced as abuse. Abuse can include belittling a woman, keeping her on a very tight leash financially, limiting her movements outside of the house, filling the house with fear. A Canadian study found that 79 percent of marriages with serious abuse end in divorce.
The first step in dealing with abuse is recognizing it. But action must be taken. Here are some sources of information:
• National Domestic Abuse Hotline
Escaping Domestic Abuse:
If you or someone you know are living in an abusive relationship, and there is a chance of danger, the important thing is being ready and able to leave. Leaving isn’t an easy decision to make, I understand that. If you are decide to stay in a relationship, but think you might have to flee some day for safety’s sake, keep a survival kit ready.
Look up the addresses of the nearest women’s shelters or motels, so you know you will have a place to go. And make sure you have the following items with you:
• Money for cab fare
• A change of clothes
• Extra house and car keys
• Birth certificates
• Driver’s license or passport
• Medications and copies of prescriptions
• Insurance information
• Credit cards
• Legal documents, including, if you have them, separation agreements and protection orders
• Address books
• Papers that show jointly owned assets
• And more money, in case the credit cards are canceled
Conceal your survival kit in your home or leave it with a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative. Your safety and happiness should be foremost. AP released figures last month showing that 44 percent of women murdered in New York from 2002 to 2005 were killed by their partners, and that 4,000 women were admitted to the emergency room in 2005 alone because of attacks by their husbands or boyfriends.
The Truth Behind Domestic Violence — a video interview with Bea Hanson, Chief Program Officer for Safe Horizon.