Domestic Abuse: What to Look for and How to Help

Every relationship has its peaks and valleys. Sometimes we have days when we can’t stand the very person we love the most! But when does it cross over from normal relationship discord into abuse?

Abuse in a relationship can usually be tied back to one partner’s actions or words that are used to gain control over their partner and create an imbalance of power in the relationship. If you’re wondering what that might look like, a great resource to consult is the Power & Control wheel.

Please see below for examples of abusive behaviors in relationships:

Domestic violence and partner abuse are more common than most of us realize. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.[1] On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.[2] Louisiana consistently leads the nation in domestic homicides and has done so since 1997; from 2010 through 2012 there were 178 deaths due to domestic violence in just the state of Louisiana.[3] These numbers only reflect physical abuse, but it is important to remember is that domestic abuse does not have to involve physical violence. In fact, most of the actions listed in the Power and Control Wheel above impact only our emotional and psychological selves.

If you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence or partner abuse, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the following resources:

Louisiana Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline (24/7): 1 (888) 411-1333

Plaquemines Community CARE Center: (504) 393-5750

Article by Meredith Fort, LCSW