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Am I Being Abused? Signs of domestic violence or abuse

If you are immediate danger call 911

Intimate partner violence, or domestic violence, can be difficult to see.  Often it can start little by little, if your partner says they love you, or if they support you financially. Domestic violence can include forced sex, physical abuse, and emotional abuse, such as cruel words or threats. It can happen between married people, to a couple who lives together or apart, or to a same-sex couple. Abuse is never OK.  Everyone deserves to be in a safe and supportive relationship

Are you in a safe and supportive relationship?  Take the Love is Respect quiz.  

Health Impact:

Intimate partner violence can cause long term physical and mental health problems.  Violence and abuse effects not just the victim but also their children, families and communities. 

  • Short term physical violence can include minor injuries or serious conditions.
  • Long term health problems associated with intimate partner violence include: digestive problems, heart problems and chronic pain.
  • Serious risk of physical abuse is concussion and traumatic brain injury from being hit on the head or falling and hitting your head.
  • Long term mental health effects include depression and anxiety, sleep and eating disorders.
  • Intimate partner violence can also push people towards unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol, drugs and self-harm.
  • For women who are pregnant, intimate partner violence could result in a miscarriage or an injury to the child.
  • Intimate partner violence includes pressuring a partner into having sex when it is not wanted.  Hiding and destroying birth control pills or condoms to make a partner pregnant and intentionally exposing a partner to a STI or HIV. 

Get Help:

You don’t have to deal with this alone.  Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which offers 24 hour support and in 170 different languages.  1-800-799-7233 

For referral to contact local programs in Ohio, call the Ohio Domestic Violence Network 1-800-934-9840 or go to their website for a county listing of shelters.  

The National Dating Abuse Resources for Teens, call the Helpline 1-866-331-9474 

The National Sexual Assault Hotline call 1-800-656-4673.

Ask for help to develop a safety plan in case any of these events occur again.  There are many resources that can help you with that, such as this one from the Office on Women’s Health   

If your partner wants you to be pregnant but you do not, there are methods of birth control that can be used to prevent the pregnancy without your partner knowing.  Remember it is your body and you have the ultimate choice of if you want to be pregnant or not.  Work with your health care professional to discuss birth control options that will help keep you safe.   

 

Relationships and Safety Resources

ACTION OHIO Coalition for Battered Women

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Intimate Partner Violence 

National Office on Women’s Health – Domestic and intimate partner violence. 

Ohio Access to Justice Foundation is comprised of nine legal aid organization that give voice to in-need Ohioans by providing high quality legal help and problem solving throughout Ohio’s 88 counties. 

You can also find a lawyer at National Women's Law Center.  You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline  at 1-800-799-7233 and they can answer questions or help find local resources.  Victim Connect Resource Center is another national resource that can provide confidential local referrals.  

BRAVO The Buckeye Regional Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) provides comprehensive individual and community programs for survivors advocacy and support to the LGBTQI survivors of intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault.