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Sheriff’s Office Shares Ways To Know If You’re In An Abusive Relationship

Northwest Iowa — October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, for many people, a home is a safe place. It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But, for millions of others, home is not a safe place at all.

Sheriff’s office personnel tell us the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year. Every nine seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other. One in four men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

They also tell us the number of U.S. troops that lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. But the number of women who were murdered by male current or ex-partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post. That’s almost double the number of people who were killed fighting in the war. They say many people ask them why someone would stay in an abusive relationship with their partner.

There are a number of reasons, according to the Sheriff’s Office:

Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.
The cycle of abuse, meaning the “honeymoon phase” that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry and does love them.
It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.
Statistics suggest that almost 5 percent of male homicide victims each year are killed by an intimate partner.
They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.
They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says they would like to share a few ways to know if you’re in an abusive relationship that you need to get out of:

Your partner has hit you, beat you, or strangled you in the past.
Your partner is possessive. They check up on you constantly wondering where you are; they get mad at you for hanging out with certain people if you don’t do what they say.
Your partner is jealous. (They do say that a small amount of jealousy is normal and healthy) however, if they accuse you of being unfaithful or isolate you from family or friends, that means the jealousy has gone too far.
Your partner puts you down. They attack your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. They blame you for all of their violent outbursts and tell you nobody else will want you if you leave.
Your partner threatens you or your family.
Your partner physically and sexually abuses you. If they EVER push, shove, or hit you, or make you have sex with them when you don’t want to, they are abusing you (even if it doesn’t happen all the time.)
Finally, they don’t have to hit you, choke you or slam your head into a wall in order for it to be domestic abuse. If they degrade you, humiliate you, blame you, lie to you, cheat on you, withhold finances from you or even just try to control you, it’s still domestic abuse, according to Sioux County Sheriff personnel.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and would like to reach out to the Family Crisis Center, please click here for help. If you are in immediate danger, call or text 911.

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