Recognizing Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of threatening or controlling behavior imposed upon her by a person with whom she has been in an intimate relationship. It can be actual or threatened. Psychological abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse in many ways. Kelly VanGilder, DO

Psychological abuse can include an abuser trying to control a woman’s life by taking away her money, food, clothing, or transportation. Often, the abuser will isolate the woman so that she does not have a support system and so that she will become emotionally and financially dependent on the abuser.

Abuse can begin, worsen or decrease during pregnancy. It can pose a risk to the woman and her unborn child. Some women only feel safe when they are pregnant and this may lead to multiple pregnancies as a way of “escaping” the abuse.

Women choose to stay in their abusive relationships for many reasons. The may have a mixture of love and loyalty towards the abuser. They may fear retaliation. They may feel guilty since reporting the abuse may cause the abusive partner to suffer legal ramifications. Very often, they are financially dependent upon the partner.

Are you in an abusive relationship? Does your partner…….

• threaten you with violence when he is angry?
• say you are to blame if he/she hits you? “You made me do it”!
• always promise he/she will never do it again? Yet, does it again.
• Criticize you in public and keep you away from family and friends
• Force you to have sex when you do not want to have sex?
• Forbid you to work or manage your own money?
If the answer is yes, speak with your healthcare provider, friend/family or counselor. You have choices and resources to help you out of this abusive situation.

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Toll Free

Palm Beach County: 561-355-1772

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