BATON ROUGE, LA. (BRPROUD) – When a seemingly small verbal disagreement with a loved one becomes a fight that ends with one person becoming violent or verbally abusive towards the other, this can leave the victim feeling shocked, guilty, and confused.
Defining domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is when a person in one’s home, such as a spouse or live-in dating partner, engages in a pattern of coercive and controlling behavior that may include verbal or physical threats. It can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and death.
Many people who’ve experienced domestic abuse say they never imagined becoming a victim of such a crime. Understandably, they didn’t see themselves as “victims.”
One survivor who felt this way shared her story with Elite Daily, saying, “At the time, I was convinced there was no way I was a victim of domestic abuse… Looking back now, I shiver… All the signs and red flags were there, but I just didn’t see them. Or maybe, at the time, I just didn’t want to.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), “There is NO “typical victim.” Victims of domestic violence comes from all walks of life, varying age groups, all backgrounds, all communities, all education levels, all economic levels, all cultures, all ethnicities, all religions, all abilities, and all lifestyles.”
The organization adds, “Victims of domestic violence do not bring violence upon themselves, they do not always lack self-confidence, nor are they just as abusive as the abuser. Violence in relationships occurs when one person feels entitled to power and control over their partner and chooses to use abuse to gain and maintain that control.”
How widespread is domestic abuse?
Sadly, domestic abuse is a severe problem in the United States. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, family and domestic violence affects an estimated 10 million people every year; as many as one in four women and one in nine men are victims of domestic violence.
Locally, the statistics aren’t any better.
The NCADV says studies estimate that 33.4% of Louisiana women and 28.4% of Louisiana men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
Where can I find help in Baton Rouge?
People in the capital area who find themselves in abusive relationships can seek assistance from one of the local resources below:
IRIS Domestic Violence Center
Local Crisis Line: 800-541-9706
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Baton Rouge, LA 70879
Hotline: (888) 411-1333
Phone: (225) 752-1296
Victims in life-threatening situations who require immediate help should call 911.