National Domestic Violence Awareness month

What is Domestic Violence?

The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic violence as…”Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.”

The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic violence as…”Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.”

Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of gender, sex, race, age, or financial status. Anyone. It is not limited to married couples and can affect anyone in a relationship, hence intimate partner violence. It can also appear as dating violence, which can be just as severe.

Domestic violence can cause fear, result in physical abuse, psychological abuse, loss of job, inability to continue school, inability to see friends or family, and can even result in financial control that may further result in financial deprivation.


*Intimate partner violence affects 3 in 10 women & 1 in 10 men.

 *81% of survivors experienced PTSD.

 *Emotional Abuse (or psychological aggression) affects 48.4% of all women & 48.8% of all men.

 *12 million people per years are victims of physical domestic violence in the US which is 24 people per minute.

 *Severe violence affects 1 in 4 women and affects 1 in 7 men.

Red Flags to Look Out For

Not everyone is aware of what behaviors constitute domestic violence. In fact, sometimes traditions or upbringing may lead some people to think that certain behaviors, like controlling the household finances, are normal rather than abusive. Helping people understand what part of a healthy relationship is and what is not starts with discussing red flags. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, some red flags indicating domestic abuse include:

  • Verbal abuse, such as put-downs and name-calling.
  • Emotional abuse, such as gaslighting (telling lies to confuse a person about what really happened), acting in a way that is threatening, terrifying or makes a person feel bad about themselves.
  • Making all the decisions.
  • Controlling how the other dresses, who the other person can talk to, or if the other person can see friends or family.
  • Threatening to take the kids away.
  • Threatening to harm animals, does harm animals, or threatens to kill themselves.
  • Dismissing the abuse and/or calls the other person crazy for addressing the abusive behavior.
  • Destroying property or threatening with weapons.
  • Preventing the other person from working or going to school.

Why Doesn’t She Leave?

You’ve probably heard it yourself, perhaps amongst coworkers talking about a news release, or saw it in a tweet. People asking after a domestic incident, “Why didn’t she just leave, if it was so bad?” It’s important to answer this question for two reasons: to stop shifting blame on the victim, and to help the public better understand just how dangerous domestic violence situations can be, especially when a person tries to leave that relationship. Not everyone who asks this question fully understands abusive relationships (if at all) so it is our job to help them understand and break the cycle.

  • Not everyone understands the dangers of an abusive relationship, especially when trying to leave, so cite statistics on how often a victim will try to leave before they are successful in doing so
  • Communicate that there are many barriers to leaving safely, and many things to consider, such as:
    • Do they have children, other family members in the house and/or pets, and how will they safely get them away?
    • Can they take off time from work to move?
    • Is the abuser home when they try to leave?
    • Is the abuser monitoring email communications, text messages, social media messages or other communications options that a victim would need to help move?
    • Does the victim have access to his or her own finances and good credit to move? Is the abuser monitoring or controlling these as well?

Help people understand why it’s not okay to ask “why didn’t she leave?” by also explaining that:

  • This question puts the blame on the victim and makes it solely that person’s responsibility to put an end to the abuse by walking away.
  • It assumes they haven’t tried already.
  • It assumes that it’s easy for someone to leave an abusive relationship, when in fact it can be very, very dangerous.
  • It assumes that the victim is financially and physically capable of leaving (that they have access to their own car, complete control of their finances, a place to stay, good credit to rent a new place, etc, and these are all things an abuser will try to control, eliminate or destroy so that their victim can’t leave).

Aspects of Healthy Relationship

Positive campaigns work well, especially on social media. Balance your messages about domestic violence statistics and red flags with inspirational posts about the aspects of good relationships. Here are a few ideas for each key category of healthy relationships.


  • Encouraging and non-critical voices
  • Equal and open decision-making process
  • Listens to each other when discussing difficult topics or expressing feelings
  • Supports each other and celebrates accomplishments
  • Encourages each other to excel, pursue passions and develop friendships


  • Encourages “me time” and spends time alone or with friends and family
  • Doesn’t require each other to update where they are or who they are with
  • Doesn’t use technology to keep track of each other’s location or who they are with


  • Regularly asks for and gives consent
  • Respects each other’s boundaries when the answer to asking for consent is “No”
  • Watches each other’s body language and respects boundaries at any sign of hesitation, discomfort or tension


  • Ensures each have equal access to all finances and assets without hiding assets, accounts or passwords
  • Open communication about budgeting, spending habits, and equal decision making in large purchases


  • Treats children with respect and gentleness
  • Is kind towards animals
  • Does not yell, break things or strike children or animals
  • Respectful of each other’s friends and family


NATIVE HEALTH offers support services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Support services include: case management, counseling, and prevention education. If you are Native American and/ or Alaskan Native 13 years and older who are located in the Phoenix metro area and are needing assistance please call the Victim’s Services Case Manager at (602) 279-5262 ext 3211 or email her.

BLOOM365’s has a Teen Text Line 1.888.606.4673


Kaity’s Way will be out and about doing presentations and resource tables all month. Spread the word to put an end to domestic violence and find resources to HELP you or those involved in an unhealthy relationship get out safely & hosting a Domestic Violence Awareness Program & Walk

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