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12 Signs of Domestic Violence: What To Look For

domestic violence gatekeepers intimate partner violence trauma

Are you a parent, teacher, Enneagram coach, spiritual leader, or first responder? 

If so, YOU ARE A GATEKEEPER—You play a crucial role in helping mental health care providers get trauma-informed education to people first!

But first, how much do you know about the different types of trauma adults or children encounter? Would you know how to identify symptoms of trauma? Or identify if someone is in a domestic violence situation or bullied at school? Or worse, at risk for suicide?

Although it is not your job to treat the trauma, you will be the first person they seek help from. I have been treating trauma victims for over 25 years, and still, I am the second or third person they talk with about their traumatic experience. This means they have spoken with a friend, parent, coach, or educator before professional therapy begins. 

Let's talk about the trauma of violence in families. How much do you know about DV? Or intimate partner abuse? Or family violence prevention?

You might think that you probably do not come in contact with someone experiencing domestic violence. Perhaps you are an Enneagram coach working in the business sector, thinking executives do not encounter violence in their homes. 

Data shows globally, 1 in 3 women experience violence, and over 641 million encounter physical and sexual violence by an intimate partner. Adolescent girls between the ages of 15-19 (24 percent) have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.

So, the chances that you know a woman or young girl experiencing violence is probable. I believe the violence rate is higher. However, there is still such shame that women feel in reporting the abuse, the brainwashing of women in the relationship, and society's response to the victims that influence the reporting process. 

What is intimate partner violence?

Intimate partner violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that a partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over another. It can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse, and can occur in any intimate relationship or family structure. 

Family violence is a serious issue that affects individuals of all ages, genders, and backgrounds and can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and psychological effects on victims and their families.

As Gatekeepers, you need to be aware of the warning signs of intimate partner violence to identify and support those experiencing it. My new course, Gatekeeper 1.0 will launch in 2024. We will dive into the complexities of trauma, symptoms, cultural competency, how to support them, and when to refer to a trauma-licensed professional. 

But first, here are some warning signs you can look for if you think someone might be encountering violence in their relationship. 

Just a few signs to watch out for:

Physical injuries (wearing long sleeves during the summer, sometimes very heavy makeup)

Changes in behavior

Isolation from friends and family

Control or manipulation by a partner 

A startle reflex to loud noises or movement

Their partner checks their phone, email, or social networks without permission

Their partner forces them to have sex when they don't want to

Their partner controls their birth control or insists that they get pregnant

Their partner decides what they wear or eat or how they spend money

Their partner humiliates them on purpose in front of others

Their partner threatens to hurt them, their children, other loved ones, or their pets

Their partner threatens to report them to the authorities for imagined crimes

By understanding the signs and taking action to support those experiencing family violence, we can help break the cycle and create safer, healthier communities for everyone, which is why GATEKEEPERS are so important. 

The best global domestic violence resource is found here: https://nomoredirectory.org/. 

No matter where you are, you can help your friend, coaching client, or loved one find professional help.

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