If you are a domestic violence victim call 911. You may also find guidance at the Domestic and Sexual Violence Crisis Center 24 hour crisis line 509-663-7446, or the Family Law Court Facilitator 509-662-6380 or 509-662-6156 for help with protection orders.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-656-7233
- Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network: 800-656-4673
- Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-6025
When to Get Help
If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to intimidate and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous. Every year, thousands of women are seriously hurt or killed by their husbands or partners. If the abuse continues without outside help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship.
What Hurts You Hurts Your Children
Children get hurt when they see their parents being yelled at, pushed, or hit. They may feel scared and ashamed or think they caused the problem. Children grow up learning that it's okay to hurt other people or let other people hurt them. A third of all children who see their mothers beaten develop emotional problems. Boys who see their fathers beat their mothers are ten times more likely to be abusive in their adult intimate relationships.
Everyone Has the Right to Feel Safe in a Relationship
Domestic violence hurts all family members. When a person is abusive, he or she eventually loses the trust and respect of his or her partner. Abused partners are afraid to communicate their feelings and needs. With help, people who are abusive can learn to be non-violent.
Disagreements develop from time to time in relationships, however, domestic violence is not a disagreement. It is a whole pattern of behaviors used by one partner to establish and maintain power and control over the other. These behaviors can become more frequent and intense over time. The abusive person is responsible for these behaviors and that person is the only one who can change them. Don't wait until you and the ones you love get hurt. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
These are examples of warning signs of potential domestic violence:
- Blame you for the abuse
- Check up on where you've been and who you've talked to
- Destroy your belongings
- Insult you in public and in private
- Limit where you can go and what you can do
- Make you have sex in ways or at times that are uncomfortable for you
- Put down your friends and family
- Tell you jealousy is a sign of love
- Tell you your fears about the relationship are not important
- Threaten to hurt you, your family members or pets
- Touch you in a way that hurts or frightens you
- Try to control your money
How You Can Help
We've learned not to let friends drive drunk. We've learned to help stop crimes. How can you approach a friend in trouble? If you think a person is being abused you can do the following:
- Don't downplay the danger
- Don't judge or criticize your friend's choices
- Express concern for your friend's safety.
- Give emotional support
- If an assault is occurring, call 911
- Let your friend know about agencies that can help
- Offer to help with child care or transportation
- Take the time to listen and believe what your friend says