No one denies that domestic violence is a serious problem. The statistics are staggering. In the United States alone, one in three women will be the victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten. Each day, domestic violence hotlines are flooded with over 20,000 calls from victims seeking the help they so desperately need. Domestic violence occurs in all communities, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic level, religion, or nationality. The effects are devastating and spread into every area of a victim's life, even for a long time after they are hopefully able to leave.
But domestic violence is often characterized only as physical violence. This simply isn't true. Emotional and verbal abuse are also forms of domestic violence, although they are sometimes (wrongly) viewed as less serious than physical abuse. "Abuse is often seen as very cut-and-dry and only physical," Zahira Kelly told BBC Trending. Kelly, a writer and artist, wanted to bring awareness to the damage that non-physical abuse can do, so she started tweeting with the hashtag "#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou," sharing examples of mental and verbal abuse. Kelly wanted to support other domestic violence victims and let them know that they "were not imagining the horrible emotional and psychological effect of what [they] experienced. Even if it doesn't qualify as abusive under common notions that only validate physical abuse, it's still real and [their] pain is real. And [they] deserve so much better. We all do." Below are 17 examples of how domestic violence isn't just restricted to physical assault.
Need help? Call the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for anonymous help at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
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H/T: HuffPost Women