Welcome to my blog about health, nursing, caring, kindness and positive change. Our world is full of such negative influences and bad choices, today is the day to make a positive change both physically and mentally in your life.
ERNursesCare is a blog incorporating my nearly 30 years of experience in the healthcare field with my passion for helping others, I want it to encourage others with injury prevention, healthy living, hard hitting choices, hot topics and various ramblings from my unique sense of humor. Come along and enjoy your journey......

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October is National Domestic Violence

Since October is National Domestic Violence Month I felt it extremely important to direct some serious attention to the matter of abuse, whether it be domestic, dating, elderly, or child abuse, it is all wrong and needs to stop. Partner violence is a complex mental game that is grueling for the victim to overcome. I state this from personal experience, I dealt with an abusive relationship as a young woman involved with a boyfriend that seemed to take his low self esteem out on me. He made me feel like it was always my fault, that I deserved the mental, verbal and physical abuse he would deal out each weekend we were dating. 
The terms "following the wrong crowd" was my demise as a teenager, drugs, alcohol and promiscuity was the normal for my friends daily. 
As a parent now of a son and 2 young daughters, my eyes will be ever open to the paths they take and the friends they choose. My teenage son and I have had several long discussions about my past and I have shamefully disclosed many of the stupid and careless acts that I did, the drugs that have taken many a brain cell, the alcohol abuse that many times left me unconscious and vulnerable to anyone, my teen pregnancy that could have been avoided and much more. I truly think that telling my kids the truth about  my mistakes may keep them from making the same ones. Now I know that they do have to make choices themselves as they get older, but at least I can give them the tools to work with. 
Now back to domestic violence: I found this awesome post and had to share it - Credit due to this website : http://www.downstate.edu/eap/october.html Please Please promise me that if you are being abused by someone close to you, seek out help, go to your nearest Emergency Department and tell the nurse(she will help you) call 911 and just put the phone down while on if you have to( if your abuser is in the room or house) somebody will show up and ask what is going on, they GIS system via your phone will tell the 911 dispatcher where you are.
If you have been abused once, IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN!!!  and next time he may very well kill you! This is nothing to play around with. As an ER nurse for many years I have seen this happen many times!!


According to former Attorney General Janet Reno, “Too many American women live in fear of the very people upon whom they depend for love and affection. Instead of providing refuge, the walls of many homes serve as prison bars.”


Domestic abuse, or “battering”, is a pattern of abuse by one partner against the other, for the purpose of maintaining power and control. Domestic abuse often includes (but NOT ALWAYS) physical abuse. Forms of domestic abuse can include:
physical abuse
sexual abuse
verbal abuse
threats and intimidation
isolation or restriction from friends, family and other support systems
destruction of property
financial exploitation
jealousy and possessiveness
stalking or monitoring of behavior

Physical battering: The abuser’s attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks (this can include the abuse of household pets).

Sexual abuse: Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual abuse where the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser, or to engage in unwanted sexual activity.

Psychological battering: The abuser’s psychological or mental abuse can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, fault-finding, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property.

BATTERING ESCALATES. It often begins with behaviors like threats, name calling, abuse in your presence (such as punching a fist through a wall) and/or damage to objects or pets. It may escalate to restraining, pushing, kicking, slapping, pinching, tripping, biting, throwing, or grabbing. Finally, it may become life-threatening with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of deadly weapons. (Remember, ANY household item can be used as a dangerous weapon!)


Adult domestic violence is one of the most serious public health and criminal justice issues facing women today. Most victims of domestic violence are women. Between 91-95% of all documented domestic violence cases are women being abused by male partners. About 1-2% is physical abuse of men by their female partners, and 3-8% of the total number of reported domestic violence cases involve same-sex relationship abuse.

Every woman is at risk for becoming a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence has no regard for socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, religion, employment status, physical ableness, age, education, marital status, or sexual orientation. In fact, being FEMALE is the only significant risk factor for being a victim of domestic violence.

Batterers use emotional, psychological, economic and physical abuse as ways of controlling their victims. Abuse is NOT caused by stress, anger, or alcohol or other drug involvement. Many people find it difficult to understand why people batter their partners. This may be why, when we hear excuses like, “he had a bad day”, “she lost her temper”, or “he was drunk and out of control”, we often accept them as viable reasons why the attack occurred. But battering has more to do with the batterer’s attitudes, beliefs, and relationships to others than it has to do with these common excuses. Many men believe that they have the right to control their spouses, and to enforce their will on those around them, particularly females. Many men believe that it is the man’s duty to control his wife, regardless of the methods used. Some men even believe that women “need” to be “disciplined”. These beliefs and attitudes, coupled with society’s tolerance of domestic violence, makes it one of the most difficult problems for our society to overcome.

Children in families where there is  domestic violence suffer negative consequences even if they are not the targets of the abuse



MYTH: When someone is battered, he/she must have done something to deserve it.
FACT: Battering is never the victim’s fault. NEVER. Batterers abuse their partners as a way to control them. Domestic violence is about control, not about punishment or discipline.

MYTH: Battering usually ends after a couple gets married or has children.
FACT: Battering usually gets WORSE over time, not better. Getting married and/or having children does not protect someone from becoming a victim. In fact, sometimes it makes the situation worse.

MYTH: Alcohol and other drug use may cause battering.
FACT: Most people who use alcohol or other drugs do not abuse their partners. And many people who never use alcohol or other drugs do abuse their partners. While it is true that perpetrators of domestic violence are sometimes under the influence of alcohol or other drugs when the episode occurs, battering and alcohol or other drug abuse are 2 separate problems – neither is caused by the other. Anyone who abuses another person while under the influence of alcohol or another drug needs help for BOTH problems.

MYTH: If a woman wants to end the violence, she should just leave. If she doesn’t leave, it is because she either likes the abuse, or she doesn’t want to leave.
FACT: Women may stay in abusive relationships due to fear, lack of resources or options, psychological damage, loss of self-esteem, depression, or other reasons. It is important to remember that LEAVING the relationship may also be dangerous – more women are killed by their partners AFTER they leave the relationship than at any other time. Women who stay in abusive relationships are not weak or stupid – they are SCARED.                                                                                          BARRIERS TO LEAVING A VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP
Some reasons why women stay generally fall into three categories:

Lack of resources
most women have at least one dependent child
many women are not employed outside of the home
many women have no property that is solely theirs
some women lack access to cash or bank accounts
women who leave fear being charged with desertion and losing their children or joint assets
a woman may face a decline in living standards for herself and her children

Institutional responses
clergy and secular counselors are often trained to see only the goal of “saving” the marriage at all costs, rather than the goal of stopping the abuse
police officers often do not provide support to women; they sometimes treat domestic violence as a domestic “dispute” rather than a crime
police may try to discourage the abusee from pressing charges
prosecutors often are reluctant to prosecute cases, and judges rarely levy the maximum sentence upon convicted abusers
despite a restraining order, there is little to prevent a released abuser from returning and repeating the assault
despite increased public awareness of the problem of domestic violence, and the increase in available shelters, there are still not enough shelters to accommodate women and children and keep them safe from abusive persons

Traditional beliefs and values
many women do not believe divorce is a viable alternative
many women believe that a single parent family is unacceptable and that even a violent father is better than no father at all
many women are socialized to believe that they are responsible for making heir marriage work; failure to maintain the marriage equals failure as a woman
many women become isolated from friends and family, either because of the possessiveness of the abuser, or because they want to hide their bruises and injuries from the outside world; this isolation contributes to the feeling that there is nowhere to turn
many women rationalize their abuser’s behavior by blaming alcohol or other drugs, anger, stress, unemployment, or other factors
many women are taught that their identity and worth come from getting and keeping a man
the abuser RARELY abuses all the time; during the non-violent periods he or she may fulfill all the needs of the partner and be a wonderful spouse; the victim believes that the abuser is basically a “good” person, and that she should hold onto a good man

Look over the following questions. Think about how you are being treated and how you treat your partner. Remember, when one person scares, hurts, or continually puts down the other, it’s abuse.

Does your partner…

_____ Embarrass or make fun of you in front of your friends or family?

_____ Put down your accomplishments or goals?

_____ Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?

_____ Use intimidation of threats to gain compliance?

_____ Tell you that you are nothing without them?

_____ Treat you roughly – grab, push, pinch, shove, or hit you?

_____ Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you are?

_____ Use alcohol or other drugs as an excuse for saying or doing hurtful things to you?

_____ Blame you for how they feel or act?

_____ Pressure you sexually for things you aren’t ready for or don’t want to do?

_____ Make you feel like there is “no way out” of the relationship?

_____ Prevent you from doing things you want – like spending time with your friends and family?

_____ Try to keep you from leaving after a fight or leave you somewhere after a fight?

Do you…

_____ Sometimes feel scared of how your partner will act?

_____ Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner’s behavior?

_____ Believe that you can help your partner change if you changed something about yourself?

_____ Try not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner angry?

_____ Feel like, no matter what you do, you partner is not happy with you?

_____ Always do what your partner wants to do, instead of what you want to do?

_____ Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what he/she will do if you broke up?

If any of these are happening in your relationship, talk to someone. Without some help, the abuse will continue.


What to do…

If you are experiencing domestic violence:
You may need to notify your supervisor about the circumstances of your situation so that you can be safe in the workplace
Discuss options available to you, e.g. scheduling, safety precautions, employee/family assistance benefits
Get an order of protection if you are being physically abused
Submit a recent photo of the perpetrator to University Police/Public Safety so they may recognize the perpetrator if he/she enters the campus
Contact the EAP for confidential help and advice

If you are the co-worker of someone experiencing domestic violence:
If you suspect a co-worker is suffering abuse, do NOT directly confront him/her since it is important for an individual to self-disclose, for his/her own safety, well-being, and privacy.
Express concern and a willingness to listen and be supportive, if needed.
Offer support and listening; when the individual is ready, they will confide.
Suggest that the individual contact the EAP for confidential help and advice, if there is a problem.
If you witness an incident at work, contact University Police/Public Safety immediately. Make sure the incident is documented.

If you are the supervisor or manager of an employee who is experiencing domestic violence:
Be aware of unusual absences or behavior and take note of bruises or emotional distress.
Offer your support and listening; let the employee know that you are available should they decide to discuss the problem.
Suggest that the individual contact the EAP for confidential help and advice, if there is a problem.
If the employee has disclosed the situation to you, you may contact the EAP and/or human resources to discuss resources available, e.g. counseling, safety planning, flexible scheduling, time off, security measures, etc.
Assist the employee in documenting all incidents with the batterer which occur in the workplace.
Encourage the individual to seek help.
If the employee’s job performance is suffering as a result of a personal problem, use regular, administrative remedies to deal with those issues. Avoid “lumping” personal problems in with job performance issues.


If you are still in the relationship:
Think of a safe place to go before an argument begins – avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom), or rooms with weapons (kitchen)
Think about and make a list of safe people to contact
Keep change with you at all times, or if possible, a cellular phone
Memorize all important phone numbers
Establish a code word or sign to alert neighbors, friends, family that you are in trouble (e.g. turning a light on or off) so they can call for help
Think about what you will say to your abuser if he/she becomes violent
Remember- you have the right to live without violence
Keep a bag packed with enough clothes for 2-3 days for yourself and your children, copies of important papers (see below), enough medication for 2-3 days (if you or your children need daily medications), account numbers, etc. (see list below)

If you have left the relationship:
Change your phone number
Screen calls
Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries, or other incidents involving the batterer
Change locks if the batterer has a key
Avoid staying alone
Plan how to get away if confronted by your abuser
If you have to meet your partner, do so in a public place
Vary your routine

Notify school and work contacts

Call a shelter for battered women (if necessary)

Do NOT go to a place where your abuser may likely find you (e.g. your mother’s home). This will put you AND the other person at risk.

If you leave the relationship or are thinking of leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action. Important papers you should take include:
1. Social Security cards
2. Birth certificates for yourself and your children
3. Your marriage license
4. Leases or deeds to property
5. Your checkbook
6. Your charge cards
7. Bank statements
8. Charge account statements
9. Insurance policies
10. Proof of income, W2’s etc.
11. Immigration/citizenship papers for yourself and your children
12. Documentation of past abuses – photos, police reports, hospital/medical records, etc.


NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, “Domestic Violence: Finding Safety and Support”, 1997

D.L. Fontes, Psy.D., “The Hidden Side of Spousal Abuse”, Employee Assistance Report, April 1999

Janet Reno, “Facing the Problem of Domestic Violence”, The Counselor, Nov-Dec 1998

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (www.ncadv.org)

AOL Keyword “domestic violence” gives you thousands of references and resources for help with this problem
Google search will also give you thousands of references                                                                                    

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you like this post let me know by commenting, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (ERNursesCare) ~~ Leslie


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Care to Share!