October is Domestic Violence Month

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in a relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.  

   The abuse can come in many forms; it can be physical, emotional, psychological or sexual.  It can range from the abuser’s efforts to frighten, intimidate, manipulate or humiliate, to his or her attempt to lay blame or cause injury to a life partner.  
  Domestic violence knows no boundaries.   It can happen to any race or sex and it knows no age restrictions.  According to a recent study, one in three women will experience some form of domestic abuse over the course of their lifetime.  That one target of domestic violence could easily be your mother, sister or your daughter.  
  The couple involved in abuse may not be married. They may be dating or living together instead.  Unfortunately, abuse happens across all economic and social levels.  
    Fortunately for Simpson County residents, if these forms of abuse occur, an abuse shelter is located here, one of 20 that operate across the state.  Victims and their family members have been provided a place to go in the event of an abusive situation. And in most cases, they should go.  These situations normally don’t improve; they continue to escalate and get worse with often tragic results.  
  Angel Wings Out-Reach Center is located in Mendenhall and has served Simpson County for the past 23 years.  From January of 2017 through September 2017 the shelter has provided services for 78 individuals.  This equates to 2,187 bed nights for those individuals affected.  In addition, a total of 8,351 meals have been provided through the shelter’s services.  The shelter has received a total of 161 crisis calls and 1,234 emergency calls.  
  Had the shelter not been available, these victims might have had to stay in a potentially life threatening situation.  
  The average stay for an Angel Wings resident is six months.  During this time the residents train for life skills as well as hold a job so that when they return to the community they can be productive citizens.  
Domestic Violence Is…
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, economic class, immigration status, religion, or gender. It can happen to couples that are married, living together, or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Does the Person You Love:
Threaten to hurt you or other people you care about?
Hit, kick, punch, push, choke or use physical force against you?
Criticize or blame you for everything that goes wrong?
Humiliate you in front of other people?
Control your access to money?
Control the decision-making in your relationship?
Control your time and actions?
Put you down, call you names, make you feel like you’re crazy?
Destroy your property or abuse your pets?
Threaten to hurt you or commit suicide if you leave?
Force or coerce you to have sex when you don’t want to?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.  You are not alone; many people just like you are dealing with violence at home.  You didn’t cause the violence and no one has the right to hurt you.  If you would like to talk with someone, free and confidential help is just a phone call away.