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Domestic Violence

Love shouldn't HURT!

Domestic violence is physical or emotional abuse that happens between partners. The abuse may be hitting, shaking, unwanted sexual contact, threats, name-calling and more. The abuse usually happens more than once, and results in fear of, or control by the abuser. Domestic violence hurts.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the United States. Over 2,000 women are killed by current or former partners each year. People who hurt others do so by choice and are responsible for their own behavior. They can change their behavior, but only they can make that choice.

Arguing is normal. Trying to control someone through threats or force is not. That is domestic violence. It can start with insults or jealousy. And it gets worse over time. Watch for these signs of domestic violence:

Does your partner...

  • Insult you in public and/or private?
  • Blame you for the abuse?
  • Make you have sex in ways or at times that are uncomfortable to you?
  • Check up on where you've been and who you've talked to?
  • Limit where you go and what you do?
  • Touch you in ways that hurt or scare you?
  • Put down your friends and family?
  • Destroy your things?
  • Tell you your fears are not important?
  • Tell you jealousy is a sign of love?
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, or pets?

If any of the things listed above, or things like them, happen to you, you may be in danger. Domestic violence hurts you and the ones you love. Don't wait until you and the ones you love get hurt. If you are in danger now, CALL 911.

Myth 1: Battering is only a momentary loss of temper.

Fact:
Battering is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence other forms of abuse. The batterer uses a series of behavior, including acts of violence, intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, isolation, etc., to coerce to control the other person. The violence may not happen often, but it may remain as a hidden and constant terrorizing factor.

Myth 2:
There isn't any real violence going on in my relationship; my partner has never bruised me or hit me with a closed fist

Fact:
Any unwanted touching is a form of violence. Forced affection, pinches, slaps, shoves, and other unwanted physical contact are violent acts.

Myth 3:
I can't say there's any real violence in this relationship because my partner has never been physically abusive.

Fact:
Any behavior that is used to control another person can be considered as violent. Verbal, emotional and mental abuse are forms of violence that are as harmful as physical violence - and the effects are usually longer lasting.

Myth 4:
Domestic violence does not affect many people.

Fact:
In the U.S. a woman is beaten every 15 seconds.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the U.S. - more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Battered Women are more likely to suffer miscarriages and to give birth to babies with low birth weights. 63% of the young men between ages 11 and 20 who are serving time for homicide have killed their mother's abuser.

Myth 5:
The term "domestic violence" refers to wife beating.

Fact:
Because of this myth, many victims of domestic violence are unwilling to report the abuse, believing they have no resources available to them. They may be isolated from friends and family, as well as embarrassed by a situation they feel they are responsible for themselves. Domestic violence can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, marital or social status, or religious preference. If you, or someone you know, are being hurt, get help now. The resource list will help you find the support you need and deserve.

If you need more help call the local, state, or national Domestic Violence Program - Today!

Clark County: (360) 695-0501
Washington: (800) 562-6025
National: (800) 799-7233

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Clark County Sheriff's Office:
Street Address: 707 West 13th Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 410, Vancouver, WA 98666
Main phone: (360) 397-2211
Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388, then call (360) 397-2445
E-mail: sheriff@clark.wa.gov
E-mails are monitored: Mon-Fri 8-5 p.m.

Responsible Elected Official: Sheriff Garry E Lucas

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