Often when we think of domestic violence, we automatically think physical abuse.
Unfortunately, we see it time and time again. The bruises, the scars, the broken bones and with each story more heartbreaking than the next, it’s all too common.
What about the damage you can’t see?
The truth is, we don’t always see the signs. It could be you, your mother, your brother or your neighbor and you would have no idea.
And the real tragedy is a story not told enough. An epidemic outside the parameters of murder and homicide we don’t see on our nightly news programs.
It’s alarming that 60 per cent of women who experience domestic violence will develop depression, while 93 per cent will experience some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
We need to look beyond the ‘black eye image’ of domestic violence.
It’s easy to ask the question, why doesn’t he or she just leave?
For most, it’s not that simple.
Rarely do people enter a relationship where they are assaulted from day one.
What can seem like “normal” relationships can change in an instant. Without warning. Whether it’s a breakdown in trust, a traumatic event or simply an insecurity you never knew existed, you may not spot it until it’s too late.
The truth is, the aftermath can be just as harrowing as the violence itself.
Sure, the physical scars heal. But it’s what happens next that can really do the most damage.
For victims, the long-term effects of violence at the hands of those they trust the most is debilitating. It can be as much as a year after the last violent experience before the decision to end their life is made.
There is no denying how truly tragic this is, but it does present us with an opportunity to act.
It is a chance for us to make sure all domestic violence victims receive the help they need to overcome their traumatic experiences.
So what can you do to help?
Start the conversation with your loved ones today, because you never know who may be suffering in silence.
If you do one thing today, make sure you take the oath and swear never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence.
It just could save a life.
If you feel motivated to help eradicate domestic violence in the United States, why not create a supporter page to help raise funds and awareness.