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Be Informed: Understanding Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Domestic violence and sexual assault are often overlooked in our society today. Most of the victims don't even notice and acknowledge the warning signs of an abusive relationship.

Being informed and educated about the signs and effects of violence will be the first step in ending it. Save yourself from violence and depression through the help of Hoke County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, Inc. in Raeford, North Carolina.

Below are the frequently asked questions that will give you general information about domestic violence and sexual assault.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is classified when an abuser is trying to maintain total control over you. The abuse may have various forms including, but not to the following:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  1. Mental
  2. Spiritual
  • Psychological
  • Financial

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault takes place when someone forced you to participate in an unwanted and unsafe sexual activity. This include:

  • Rape
  • Attempted Rape
  • Unwanted Sexual Threat or Contact

A sexual assault can also occur when someone touches you in a sexual manner without your consent or against your will.

Common Reasons Why the Victim Doesn’t Leave Their Abuser

  1. The abuser makes excuse and blames the victim as if the abusive behavior is their fault.
  2. The abuser uses intimidation or humiliation to scare the victims and keep them isolated outside.
  3. In result, the victim will only feel fear and hopelessness as if they have no one to turn to.

Family violence is one of the most frequent and unreported crimes in our country and state. The laws that protect spouses from abuse also apply to people who have been in a dating relationship or who have a familial relationship with one another, including people of the opposite sex who live together but are not married, as well as people who have a child in common, whether or not they live together. Children are also protected against abuse from parents, live-in partners of parents, or other individuals who act as parents. Threatening injury to another party may also be illegal if the words cause actual fear of bodily injury.

The law is a tool to help prevent family violence. Everyone has a duty to report any suspected physical or sexual abuse of children to the local Department of Social Services. Other forms of assistance, such as counseling for one or both parties, are sometimes needed in addition to or instead of legal intervention. Your local mental health center can give advice on counseling, shelters, etc.

- North Carolina Bar Association. (2003) Family Violence "This is the Law."

Quiz Time!

Answer the questions with yes or no. If most of your answers are yes, it is possible that you’re in an abusive relationship.

How Is Your Relationship?

Does your partner:

  1. Embarrass you with bad names in front of others?
  2. Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
  3. Control everything you do?
  4. Stop you from seeing or talking to friends and family?
  5. Take your money, ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
  6. Make all the decisions in your relationship?
  7. Abuse you and tries to deny what happened?
  8. Tell you you’re a bad parent and threaten to hurt and take away your children?
  9. Scare you with knives, guns, and other weapons?
  10. Threaten to destroy your property or kill your pets?
  11. Physical hurt you?
  12. Force you to drop domestic or sexual charges against him or her?
  13. Threaten to commit suicide?
  14. Threaten to kill you?

Things You Can Do

  • Always trust your instincts.
  • Take your partner’s or loved one’s threat seriously.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek help from your friends or family.
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