In the United States, nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men report experiencing domestic violence at some point in their lives. In addition, 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence each year.
It is hard to decide to leave an abusive relationship. Having a safety plan ready can make your escape easier. CAAFA’s advocates will work with you to develop an individualized safety plan for you and your children. The following are some steps you can take in developing a personal safety plan:
- Call 911 if you are in danger.
- Teach your children how to call 911 for help.
- Make copies of important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, medical papers, and legal papers. Store the documents outside your house in case you need to leave quickly.
- Hide extra car and house keys outside your house in case you need to leave quickly. Talk to someone safe about what is going on. He or she may be able to help.
- Choose a code word and give it to someone safe so they know when to call the police if you need immediate help.
- Know where to go when you decide to leave.
Our advocates can help you with a personalized safety plan. Please call 480-982-0205.
What is domestic violence?
In the United States, nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men report experiencing domestic violence at some point in their lives. In addition, 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence each year. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that includes the use or threat of violence and intimidation for the purpose of gaining power and control over another person. Violence is characterized by: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Economic Abuse, Isolation, Emotional Abuse, Control, or Verbal Abuse.
Here are some warning signs that you may be in an abusive relationship:
- Verbal Abuse – Coercion, Threats and Blaming: threatening to hurt or kill you, your children or pets, name calling, yelling or telling you you are unattractive or undesirable.
- Intimidation: making you afraid by using looks, actions, gestures, smashing things, destroying property, abusing pets or displaying weapons.
- Emotional Abuse: putting you down, making you feel bad about yourself, calling you names, making you think you’re crazy, playing mind games, humiliating you or making you feel guilty.
- Economic Abuse: preventing you from getting or keeping a job, making you ask for money, giving you an allowance, taking your money or letting you know about or have access to family income.
- Isolation: controlling what you do, who you see or talk to, what you read, where you go, limiting your outside involvement or using jealousy to justify actions.
- Using Children: making you feel guilty about the children, using children to relay messages, using visitation to harass you, threatening to take the children away.
- Minimizing, Denying and Blaming: making light of abuse and not taking your concerns about it seriously, saying abuse didn’t happen, shifting responsibility for abusive behavior or saying you caused it.
What is Sexual Violence?
According to Arizona Law, sexual assault occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly engages in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with any person without consent of such person (AZ Revised Statutes Definitions)
- 1 in 5 women & 1 in 17 men have been raped in their lifetime? (CDC, 2010)
- 60% of rapes & sexual assaults are unreported (RAINN, 2014)
- Every two minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted (U.S. DOJ)
- 80 percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 30 (U.S. DOJ)
Sexual Abuse Includes:
- Oral Contact
- Genital/Anal Contact
- Forced Penetration
- It can be committed by a family member, family friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or anyone else.
You CANNOT consent to sexual contact if you:
- Are impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Are asleep or have any other similar impairment of cognition
- Have a mental disorder
- Are intentionally deceived as to the nature of the act
- If you are under 18
What is sex trafficking?
Sex trafficking occurs when a person is forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade against their will. The average age of entry into the commercial sex trade in the US is between 12 and 14 years of age. Sex traffickers, commonly referred to as pimps, target people whose current situation, or past history, makes them more vulnerable; youth who are runaways/ throwaways and/ or youth in the foster care system are at an increased risk. The majority of trafficking victims are also youth who have been sexually abused previous to having been trafficked.
Information regarding the number of people sex trafficked in the United States each year is hard to pinpoint, but according to the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School between 100,000 and 300,000 youth are enslaved each year. The number of adults sex trafficked is more difficult to identify, as adult victims are often mislabeled as willing participants.
What is Teen Dating Violence?
1 in 5 teens will be in an abusive relationship. Teens account for 51% of all reported sexual abuse.
Teen who experience sexual abuse are more likely to experience further sexual abuse, and teens victims in grades 9 through 12 are also more likely to suffer from eating disorders, engage in suicidal behavior, become pregnant and engage in risky sexual behaviors.
Though teens are at an increased risk for experiencing physical and sexual violence, 81% of parents surveyed by the Family Violence Prevention Fund and Advocates for Youth admit that they do not believe teen dating violence is an issue, or they do not know if it is.
Is your relationship abusive? Would you help a friend in a bad situation? Are you an abusive partner? Take the quiz at LoveIsRespect.org and find out!
Warning signs include:
- Controlling you
- Insulting you
- Scaring you
- Hurting you
- Excessive jealousy
- Uncontrollable anger
- Monitoring your social media
- Threatening suicide if you want to break up
- Not allowing you to go out with your friends
- Telling you how to dress, act or think
- Accusing you of flirting
- Blaming you for violence
- Pulling hair
- Threatening to find someone else
- Making all the decisions
- Following you around
- Destroying letters, gifts or other possessions
- Forcing sex
Need help? Call CAAFA at 480-982-0205.