In a typical year 243 million women and girls experience some form of intimate partner violence. Out of all of these women, only about half of them will report their abuse. This number only increased during the pandemic, where mass lockdowns led to abusers having unrestricted access to their victims. With lockdowns ending across the country, numbers of victims are still up, so it is more important than ever to know what to do if you or a loved one is experiencing domestic abuse.
The best way to help stop domestic abuse right away is to know the warning signs. If your significant other is acting jealous of you spending time away from them, controlling your decisions, or embarrassing and shaming you in front of friends and family, do not ignore it. These are all red flags of abusive behavior. If you notice a friend or family member’s partner is acting in this way, let them know you are available to help if they need it.
Abusers often will isolate their victims to make them feel as if no one would believe them if they reported their abuse, so it is important to make victims know they are seen and respected. If someone who is being abused confides in you, listen without judgment, ask how you can help, and make sure to check in regularly. If they let you know they are planning on leaving, keep your phone charged and gas in your car to help them leave safely.
You can help prevent domestic abuse in your community by supporting local organizations that offer resources to educate people on domestic violence and support victims. Help raise awareness in your community, as many people do not know how many people are affected by domestic abuse each year.
Domestic abuse is a major problem across the world. Be available to help victims in your community, and do your part to educate others about the dangers of red flag behavior in romantic partners. To learn more on how to help victims of domestic abuse, take a look at the infographic below: