Domestic violence hits home

Published 3:05 pm Monday, June 13, 2022

Although October is domestic violence month, some men and women suffer this type of abuse year-round. Recently, the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard case put a spotlight on domestic violence and abuse and brought to light what a victim may go through.

Leaving an abuser is sometimes harder than staying.

They use several tactics against you; like telling you that the abuse never happened or you’re too sensitive. They may even tell you that you’re crazy and other people know it. They can yell or give you the silent treatment.

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Once abuse in a relationship starts, it almost always escalates, according to websites like www.domesticshelters.org

There are steps that these websites recommend you can take to help get out of an abusive relationship.

One of the first things you can do is to find supportive people who will believe you.  Make sure it is someone you trust.

If you think the abuse will get better or stop, you are wrong. In most situations, when a woman leaves her abuser and then goes back, the abuse gets worse.

Something else to keep in mind about domestic violence is that it is the most common source of injury to victims.

Battery is not a loss of temper, it is the abuser’s way of gaining control and putting fear into a victim.

Abusers come from all walks of life; all races, religions, ages and socioeconomic levels. It’s not just a problem in poor, urban neighborhoods.

It makes no difference if alcohol or drugs are involved, take these out of the picture, and the abuse is still there.

Domestic violence can lead to death. You cannot love this hurt away. The abuse will only increase over time. It will get worse.

There are signs you can look for if you or someone you know are in a situation like this.

Abusers will often threaten to kill themselves, which means they are likely to kill their victim as well. They have no issues about keeping loaded guns around the home.

An abuser will often treat a victim as if they belong to them, like a piece of property.

Unfortunately, separation violence is a nightmare that too often occurs when a victim tries to leave the home. The relationship can become deadly.

You need help escaping a violent relationship. You need a plan.

For legal help contact Legal Services Alabama, which is located in Montgomery. They offer help in several counties, including Butler, Crenshaw and Lowndes. You may even qualify for free legal help.

Their toll-free hotline number is 866-456-4995. Their business line is (334)832-4570. They are open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. On Friday, they are open 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. They can also be contacted on the internet at www.legalservicesalabama.org.

The Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-650-6522. They can tell you the shelter nearest you. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

One shelter close to our area is the Bethesda Mercy House in Andalusia.

Bethesda Mercy House is run by founder Dr. Alison Jackson-Wood.

The shelter does not receive Federal or State funding. It is supported solely by the community it serves.

“We’re not a homeless shelter or a convalescent home,” Jackson-Wood said. “It’s just been really important to be the best we could be as a domestic shelter.” In August of this year, Bethesda will become an accredited shelter for abused women.

Bethesda House opened on November 28, 2019. Since December 2019, they have had a person in one of their beds every night.

Bethesda House offers a safe place to stay, with food and emotional support, trauma-based therapy and even pet sheltering off site.

Their hotline number is 1-800-799-7233. Their business number is (334)977-1005.

They can be contacted on their website at www.bethesdahouseofmercy.com and by email at staff@bethesdahouseofmercy.com.

Before a victim leaves an abusive relationship, much planning and thought needs to take place first. Contact a shelter to learn the necessary steps to take before you leave, so that you can have an action plan in place beforehand. Having a plan before you leave increases your chances for a safe and successful escape.

If you have an emergency, call 911 for help.