Domestic Violence AwarenessGolden Bingo Family
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which first began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a Day of Unity to connect battered women’s advocates across the country.
Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture, and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes — it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats, and isolation. It’s stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it. Below are some signs that you or a loved one can be a victim of domestic violence, and ways to get help.
Physical Signs of Abuse
If someone is being physically abused, they will likely have frequent bruises or physical injuries—and they’ll likely have a weak or inconsistent explanation for these injuries.
- Some signs of physical abuse include:
- Black eyes
- Busted lips
- Red or purple marks on the neck
- Sprained wrists
- Bruises on the arms
Emotional Signs of Abuse
Domestic abuse, of course, can take a serious emotional toll, creating a sense of helplessness, hopelessness, or despair. Domestic abuse can cause people to believe that they will never escape the control of the abuser. They may also exhibit a constant state of alertness to the point they never can completely relax. Other emotional signs of abuse include:
- Low self-esteem
- Extremely apologetic or meek
- Seeming fearful
- Changes in sleep habits (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Agitation, anxiety, or constant apprehension
- Developing a drug or alcohol problem
- Symptoms of depression
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Talking about or attempting suicide
Abuse occurs when one person in a relationship attempts to dominate and control the other person. Usually, the control begins with psychological or emotional abuse, then escalates to physical abuse. When domestic abuse includes physical violence, it’s termed domestic violence.
If you notice that someone who was once outgoing and cheerful has gradually become quiet and withdrawn, it could be a sign of domestic abuse. You may notice that the person:
- Is reserved and distant
- Drops out of activities they would usually enjoy
- Cancels appointments or meetings with you at the last minute
- Is often late to work or other appointments
- Exhibits excessive privacy concerning their personal life or the person with whom they’re in a relationship
- Begins isolating themselves by cutting off contacts with friends and family members
What Control Looks Like
Domestic abuse is not about violence, it’s all about control. If you notice that someone seems to be controlled or extremely manipulated in all areas of their life, it could be a sign they are being abused at some level. Here are some examples of control:
- Asking permission to go anywhere or to meet and socialize with other people
- Referring to their partner as “jealous” or “possessive,” or always accusing them of having affairs
- Their partner constantly calls or texts them wanting to know where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with. The partner may even follow the victim to check upon them.
- Having very little money available to them, not having access to a credit card, or having to account for every penny spent
- Not having access to a vehicle
How to Get Help
If you are experiencing domestic abuse and these signs are all too familiar, know that what’s happening to you is not your fault. You are not alone and help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 for assistance. Below are some local resources to get help:
- Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. is an emergency shelter in San Antonio that offers crisis intervention services and emergency transportation to a discreet location. You can reach them 24/7 at 210-733-8810.
- SAFE is an emergency shelter in Austin that offers crisis intervention services and education. They can be reached 24/7 at 512-267-7233.
- The Purple Door. is an emergency shelter in Corpus Christi that offers crisis intervention services and emergency transportation to a discreet location. You can reach them 24/7 at 361-881-8888.
Wear purple to any of our bingo halls this month in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and post them online and hashtag us at #BINGONUGGET to help us raise awareness.