DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
A pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner. There are many different forms of abuse in domestic violence such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, psychological abuse, threats, stalking, and cyberstalking.
Red Flags to look for in a new relationship
- If he/she does not have a job, why doesn’t he/she?
- Does he/she have an ex-wife, what does he/she caller her?
- Does he/she show up unexpectedly or want you to change your plans to fit theirs?
- If he/she has children, does he/she visit them?
- Does he/she owe back child support?
- Does he/she use illegal drugs or unnecessary prescription drugs?
- Does he/she drink daily or every other day?
- Does he/she watch or read porn, if so does he/she want to act out what they see?
- Is he/she unsupportive of you wanting to go to school, get a job, or spend time without them?
- Does he/she flirt with anyone except you?
- What does he/she think of your friends?
- Does he/she get angry at you for things that are not your fault?
- Does he/she have a temper, easily provoked, or punch at things?
- Does he/she have a low self-esteem, does putting others down make him/her feel better?
- Does he/she have hate for their parental figure, or put the opposite gender down?
- Did he/she experience violence as a child?
- Is he/she quick to explode and then apologize quickly?
Progression of Violence
- Verbal abuse (name calling, “your a bad mother” “You’re stupid” “No one will want you”
- Hitting objects (showing force or strength)
- Throwing objects, breaking objects or making them break objects they care about.
- Making threats (“I’ll kill you” “I’ll hurt the kids” “You will never see the kids again”)
- People that hit or break objects almost 100% of the time end up abusers.
Pushing, grabbing, restraining, or blocking the door.
Slapping, punching, kicking, pulling hair.
Strangulation, sometimes called choking (This is very dangerous, you may feel fine for up to 72 hours, then suddenly die. See drop down tab under information).
Use of weapons, knives, cigarettes, cars, or guns against you (may play it off as accidental).
Rape (one in three women in a battering relationship is raped, it is not your fault, marriage does not equal consent. Having a fear that saying “no” would result in violence is still rape.)
Do not let the relationship reach the ultimate level; there is always a way out. If you can identify with these levels, come to our office or call 1(800) 300 5321.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU’RE BEING ABUSED
- Does he/she continually call you names or insult you?
- Does he/she make you feel bad about yourself, or tell you no one else wants you?
- Does he/she tell you how to dress, what to wear, or how to do your makeup?
- Do you apologize for their behavior or problems that are not your fault?
- Does he/she have behavior that is scary, such as driving recklessly or smashing things?
- Does he/she follow you around?
- Do you have to justify everything including visiting people to avoid their temper?
- Does he/she monitor where you are, or get angry if you don’t answer their call?
- Do you avoid friends and family or doing things you enjoy because of their jealousy?
- Has he/she ever ever carried out a threat to hurt you physically or emotionally?
- Has he/she ever thrown objects at you, regardless of whether they hit you or not?
- Has he/she ever abandoned you by the side of the road or in a dangerous place?
- Has he/she ever denied or interfered with your basic physical needs such as eating or sleeping?
- Has he/she ever refused to get you medical help when pregnant, sick, or injured?
- Has he/she threatened suicide if you leave?
- Has he/she threatened to break up with you if you didn’t do what they want?
- Has he/she threatened to take or hurt the kids if you left?
- Does he/she make you have sex or perform sexual acts when you don’t want to?
- Does he/she make you feel unattractive, or feel ashamed of your sexuality?
- Does he/she accuse you of flirting with other guys/girls or act extremely jealous?
- Has he/she ever pushed/shoved you?
- Has he/she hit, punched, slapped, choked, or bit you?
- Has he/she ever tried to physically retrain you?
- Has he/she ever threatened to use a weapon against you?
- Are you afraid to disagree with him/her?
If you responded yes to these questions come in to our office or call 1 (800) 300 5321 we will help you.
Information provided by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
MYTH – Drinking causes battering problems.
FACT – Battering is associated with drinking, however they do not go hand in hand. That saying is an excuse for battering.
MYTH – Battering victims are masochistic. They “deserve”or “like” to be beaten.
FACT – No one likes to be beaten. Survival causes some battered people to develop masochistic traits. Battering happens because a batterer loses control, not because of what a person does or does not want.
MYTH – Battered victims are crazy
FACT – Surviving as an abused person can cause a someone to behave in ways that appear crazy or bizarre.
MYTH – Battering victims only come from lower-income, uneducated, minority groups.
FACT – Battering victims come from all races, religions, education levels, and socio-economic levels.
MYTH – Religious beliefs will prevent battering
FACT – While religious beliefs can provide support for an abused person, praying will not stop the beating.
MYTH – Batterers are violent in all of their relationships.
FACT – Only 20% of batterers are violent in all relationships. Most batterers are not violent with anyone other than their wife or partner.
MYTH – Batterers are unsuccuessful and lack resources to cope with the world.
FACT – As a group, batterers are indistinguishable from any other group in terms of capabilities. They do lack self-control and are usually insecure.
MYTH – Batterers have psychopathic personalities.
FACT – Unlike the psychopath, most batterers feel guilt and shame at their actions.
MYTH – Police can protect the domestic violence victim.
FACT – Only 10% of battering victims call the police, yet 25% of police homocides occur when the officer is on a domestic violence call. Most women will not call the police because of guilt, shame, or fear from abuser.
EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN
Infants and toddlers
- Developmental delays
- Failure to thrive due to chaotic, loud, and harmful environments
- Emotional withdrawal and low frustration tolerance
- Physical problems such as frequent colds, ear infections, diarrhea, etc.
Preschool Age (3-6 years)
- Developmental delay, especially in areas of language development
- The child may be afraid to speak, afraid of becoming the target of anger
Very low tolerance to frustration, the child cries easily. Their world is so chaotic they cannot handle ordinary stress; have not seen appropriate ways of dealing with stress.
- Acting out aggressively toward peers and adults–children model the aggressive behaviors they witness in their home.
- Emotional withdrawal–excessive thumb sucking, rocking, infant-like behaviors.
- The child is trying to find safety and/or security.
- Inability to play constructively–there will be a lot of throwing or kicking or possibly even destruction of toys and books. Many times children have never been shown how to play. Children also work out their frustrations and worries in their play.
- Inconsistent or inappropriate display of emotions–this is caused by the child not learning appropriate emotional responses, as well as not being in touch with their true feelings.
School Age (7-11 years)
- Scholastically delayed /poor school performance–it is hard for the child to study and learn when the child worries about what is going to happen at home.
School, peer behavior problem–the child may have never witnessed appropriate interpersonal relationships, therefore has not learned appropriate ways to interact with others.
- Aggressive acting-out is more severe and purposeful–the child is modeling the behavior witnessed in the home
- Fearful, nightmares, night terrors–child may be afraid of sleep and being awakened by mother’s screams, dad’s yelling.
- Withdrawn, depressed, sense of hopelessness, despondent, chronic headaches, stomach aches, etc
- Child may begin to mimic adult roles–girls begin to take on the role of victim and boys begin to become aggressive or abusive
- Chronic low self-esteem
Teen Years (12-17 years)
- Death by suicide or murder–by the time a child has been in a violent home this many years, they are so depressed they will seek to end the pain by either suicide or placing themselves in a position to be killed by others.
- Signs of physical injuries, maiming, crippling, scarring, emotionally disturbed.
- Emotional neglect–by this time the child has learned there is no one to listen or care, especially parents. Many times by now the child has stopped trying to reach the parents
- Aggression, delinquency, runaways–realizing no one is going to take care of their needs except themselves.
- Poor school adjustment (educational and peers)
- Become more proficient at mimicking adult roles–the teen carries the role of aggressor or victim into their interpersonal relationships outside the family
- Early marriage and sexual activity–this is a means of escape, or acting out from being sexually abused.
- Alcohol and drug experimentation-a form of escapism, and self-medicating from pain, also again mimicking adult behavior
- Expansion of violence to the community–gang activity-seeking acceptance by a surrogate family
As a victim of the crime of domestic abuse, rape, or forcible sodomy, you have certain rights:
- To be notified that a court proceeding to which a victim or witness has been subpoenaed will or will not go on as scheduled, in order to save the person an unnecessary trip to court.
- The right to recieve protection from any harm and threats of harm arising out of your cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts, and to be provided with information as to the level of protection available and how to access protection;
- The right to be informed of financial assistance and other social services available as a result of being a witness or a crime victim, including information on how to apply for the assistance and services;
- To be informed of procedure to be followed in order to apply for and receive any witness fee to which the victim or witness is entitled;
- To be informed of the procedure to be followed in order to apply for and receive any restitution to which the victim is entitled;
- To be provided, whenever possible, a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require close proximity to defendants and families and friends of defendants;
- To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies when no longer needed as evidence. If feasible, all such property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis and property the ownership of which is disputed, shall be returned to the person;
- To be provided with appropriate employer intercession services to ensure that employers of victims and witnesses will cooperate with the criminal justice process in order to minimize an employee’s loss of pay and other benefits resulting from court appearances;
- To have the family members of all homicide victims afforded all of the services under this section, whether or not the person is to be a witness in any criminal proceedings;
- To be informed of any plea bargain negotiations;
- To have victim impact statements filed with the judgment and sentence;
- To be informed if a sentence is overturned, remanded for a new trial or otherwise modified by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals;
- To be informed that any sentence, including Life without Parole, may be commuted;
- To be informed in writing of all statutory rights;
- To be informed that when any family member is required to be a witness by a subpoena from the defense, there must be a showing that the witness can provide relevant testimony as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant before the witness may be excluded from the proceedings by invoking the rule to remove potential witnesses;
- To be notified by the Pardon & Parole Board of Pardon & Parole actions if you request notification;
- To be informed in felony cases involving violent crime or sex offenses when pre-trial proceedings may substantially delay prosecution;
- In sexual assault cases, to protect the identity of the victim, test results of the offender will be made available to the victims designated physician or counseling site as made known to the victim witness coordinator by the victim or to the victim witness coordinator if the victim so desires within three days of completion of the examination or testing. If designation has been made, the victim witness coordinator shall notify the victim’s designated professional that the results are being forwarded and instruct the victim to set a time to receive the results in person. If no designation has been made by the victim, the victim witness coordinator will notify the victim within three days of completion of the examination or testing and set-up a time to deliver the results in person.
Contact the District Attorney’s office for more information on any of the above services. If you wish to be notified, they will need a written request from you so they can flag their file. Your request should contain the name of the defendant, case number and county where charges were filed, and your current mailing address and phone number or the mailing address and phone number of someone who can contact you.
Provided by the District Attorney’s Council