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What are the results of domestic violence or abuse? The results of domestic violence or abuse can be very long-lasting. People who are abused by a spouse or intimate partner may develop: • sleeping problems • depression • anxiety attacks • low self-esteem • lack of trust in others • feelings of abandonment • anger • sensitivity to rejection • diminished mental and physical health • inability to work • poor relationships with their children and other loved ones • substance abuse as a way of coping Physical abuse may result in death, if the victim does not leave the relationship.
What is the effect of domestic violence on children? Children who witness domestic violence may develop serious emotional, behavioral, developmental, or academic problems.
As children, they may become violent themselves, or withdraw. Some act out at home or school; others try to be the perfect child. Children from violent homes may become depressed and have low self-esteem. As they develop, children and teens who grow up with domestic violence in the household are: • more likely to use violence at school or in the community in response to perceived threats • more likely to attempt suicide • more likely to use drugs • more likely to commit crimes, especially sexual assault • more likely to use violence to enhance their reputation and self-esteem • more likely to become abusers in their own relationships later in life To learn more, go to .
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By: Mia Faller Each relationship is different, which can make it difficult to judge the relationship from an outside perspective. While some couples rarely argue, others bicker frequently. However, all healthy relationships have similar traits. Partners are trusting and supportive of one another, and each partner respects the other person’s right to have activities outside the relationship. An abuse victim may try to mask or downplay the violence in her relationship to avoid having to confront her abuser.
Dating abuse can be physical, emotional or a combination of the two. Helpguide.org notes that while the signs of physical and emotional abuse in a relationship can vary, one of the most obvious signs that you are in an abusive relationship is that you live in fear of your partner or what she may do.
If your friend or family member begins isolating himself or is nervous about discussing his relationship for fear of what his partner will think, he may be in an abusive relationship. An abuser will use manipulation to control his partner and maintain control over every aspect of the relationship. The Anne Arundel Community College Women's Institute dating abuse booklet notes that an abuser may call you names, become jealous when you are with others, control who you see or physical injure you.
In an attempt to maintain control of the relationship, he may blame you for making him abuse you. There are many misconceptions about dating abuse. Many people assume that dating abuse only occurs in couples who are financially unstable, use drugs or among minority groups, when the reality is that dating abuse can happen to anyone regardless of sex, race, socioeconomic status or lifestyle.
The Boston University Police Department website notes that another great misconception is that the victim provokes his abuser to harm him, when the abuser is not likely to admit her own fault in the situation. The immediate and long-term effects of dating abuse are significant in determining how the victim will act in future relationships. An abusive relationship can make it difficult for a victim to trust future partners and may effect her sense of self-worth.
In a 2006 Morbidity and Mortality weekly report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent note findings from 2003 on dating violence in high school students that in addition to the risks within an abusive relationship, dating abuse victims are “more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, unhealthy dieting behaviors, substance abuse and suicidal ideation/attempts.” If you are in an abusive relationship, getting help will not only help you escape your current relationship, but help you to prevent abuse in the future.
Taking care of yourself is a great start in ensuring your relationships will remain healthy. From the beginning of your relationship, you should make your boundaries clear and make an effort to discuss your feelings openly with your partner. Encourage your partner to share his feelings as well.
Open communication can help to eliminate frustration and cause fewer misunderstandings. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with how the relationship is progressing, end it without hesitation to show your partner that you are not going to tolerate inappropriate behavior.
Mia Faller started writing in 2006. Her career includes news and features articles for her university newspaper, "The Clock," book reviews for "The Weirs Times" and print and electronic newsletters for Annie's Book Stop and the New Hampshire Humane Society.
Faller's writing interests include animals, religious/metaphysical studies, yoga, body modification and travel. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Plymouth State University.
Teens are experiencing an alarmingly high level of abuse in their , which the has appeared to make worse, according to a new study. Forty-seven percent of teens said they had been victimized personally by controlling behaviors from a boyfriend or girlfriend, according to a study by Liz Claiborne Inc. and the Fund. Nearly one in three teens in the study reported sexual or . And while the abuse can happen in person, this digitally savvy generation has discovered the power to communicate instantly also can be used to abuse.
Twenty-four percent reported that they had been by a boyfriend or girlfriend, according to the study. Parents of abuse victims plan to bring light to the frightening statistics at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today. Testimony from teens is scheduled for the hearing, too. Parents like Bill and Michele Mitchell of Columbia, Md., hope the testimony will put a face on the statistics and help save others from a fate similar to the one their daughter suffered.
Though the Mitchells will not testify at the hearing, they said they will appear at the press conference announcing the study's results today. Stories of Abuse Just three weeks after the Mitchells celebrated their daughter Kristin's graduation from Saint Joseph's University in 2005, . "The last time that I saw her alive was the day I met the guy that did it," Bill Mitchell said. Kristin Mitchell's parents said they were unaware that their daughter was in a relationship with a possessive and controlling boyfriend.
"You know, there's some issues, but we had no idea anything like this," Michele Mitchell said. The violence ended on June 3, 2005, when Kristin Mitchell died after being brutally attacked. She was stabbed 55 times. Her parents never saw it coming. "You find out what happened and then the next day you're in the funeral home making arrangements. You're picking out caskets," Michele Mitchell said. A Survivor's Tale But Kristin Mitchell's story is not unique.
Like Kristin Mitchell, 19-year-old Monique Betty was pretty and popular. She also was in an abusive relationship. "I was a cheerleader. And he was a jock. And everyone liked him. We had lots of friends," she said. What began as an apparently picture-perfect relationship soon "turned into a nightmare," Betty said.
The Pocatello, Idaho, native began dating her boyfriend in the seventh grade and the abuse started small. Betty's boyfriend wanted to know her whereabouts at all times, would belittle her and control who she saw. He pointed out imperfections, made fun of her clothes and Betty even would have to talk to him at sleepovers because he didn't trust her.
"I was so alone. Like, he started rumors about me and, like, I lost all my friends," Betty said. Things escalated to physical violence, with him pushing and grabbing her, she said. But unlike Kristin Mitchell, Betty is a domestic abuse survivor because one day she collapsed in her father's arms and pleaded for help.
"I was actually in denial that it was happening," said Betty's father, Tom Betty. What Betty did is uncommon, because according to the study, two out of three teenagers don't confide in their parents. But his daughter's nightmare became the family's nightmare, too, when their daughter's ex-boyfriend began stalking her. "You totally feel powerless," said Betty's mother, Michelle Betty.
Monique Betty said her experience inspired her to become an anti-domestic violence advocate. She said she believes she can use her personal experience to help other teens. "I know that it's difficult. You don't want to leave. You're scared to leave. But there's hope," Betty said. "There's people that will surround you and love you and help you get out of it." The Bettys and the Mitchells want to see schools add programs that warn young people about teen dating abuse.
Currently, only three states — Texas, Maryland and Rhode Island — have prevention programs as a part of the required curriculum. The Rhode Island law is called the Lindsay Ann Burke Act. Burke, whose mother is scheduled to testify before the congressional committee today, was murdered in 2005 after a two-year struggle in an abusive relationship.
Enacted in 2007, the law named after the 23-year-old requires all school districts in the state to have a dating violence policy to address incidents at school. In addition, it requires annual dating violence education for students between the seventh and 12th grades. Help for Abuse Victims and Their Families There are steps that parents can take if they suspect their teenager is experiencing dating abuse.
First, create opportunities to talk to your teen. Experts recommend driving your kids to school one morning, instead of having them take the bus, or showing up for their activities outside of school. It may be during moments like these that your teen is more willing to open up. Educate yourself and your child. Parents should be able to read the warning signs, such as if their teenager suddenly stops hanging out with her friends or suddenly changes the way he dresses, so they will be able to intervene and protect them.
Contact the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline. Parents can turn to the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline and Web sites like and for information on what the warning signs are and how to help a teenager who might be in trouble.
Teen Dating Violence