What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is the fastest growing and most serious violent crime in Utah today. Domestic violence is not a family problem- it is a community issue!
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Domestic violence occurs among all age groups, genders, races, educational backgrounds, religions and socioeconomic groups. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.
Who is affected by Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence not only affects those who are directly abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life - therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.
What can you do if you know or you suspect someone is being abused?
If someone you know is being abused you need to first address any immediate safety needs. If that person is currently in danger- ask him/her if he/she wants you to call the police or an ambulance. Once a victim's immediate safety needs have been met, the most important thing you can do is LISTEN. It is important to relay to the victim that "No one deserves to be abused", and that he/she is not alone. Do not tell the victim what to do. There are so many reasons a person chooses to stay- Do not place any negative blame on his/her actions. Let the victim know she is not responsible for the abuse, and that only the abuser can stop the abusive behavior.
If you have questions or would like additional information- please contact a victim advocate at our office at (435) 789-4250. You can also seek information and services from the Women's Crisis Center through their crisis hotline (435)781-2264.
For a complete list of domestic violence services in the State of Utah, you can call the Utah Statewide Domestic Violence Linkline at 1-800-897-LINK(5465) or visit DV Linkline.