Domestic Abuse 101

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, but the problem is often excused or denied, especially when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical.  The first step to ending it is acknowledging the signs.  NO ONE should live in fear of the person they love.  Reach out; help is available.

Abuse is used for one purpose and one purpose only:  To gain and sustain total control over the victim.  Fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation are used by the abuser to wear down the victim and keep them under his or her thumb, often threatening to hurt them or those around you.  Abuse does not discriminate; it occurs among all ages, among male and females, ethnic backgrounds and economic status.  Abusive behavior is NEVER acceptable; a person deserves to feel valued, respected and safe.

Domestic abuse frequently escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence.  Obviously, physical injury is the most dangerous, but the emotional and psychological consequences are also severe.  This type of relationship can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and make you feel helpless and alone.  The first step to breaking free is recognizing the abusive situation, then asking for the help you need.

The most telling sign is fear of your partner.  If you feel that you must walk on eggshells around your partner, constantly watching what you say and do in order to “keep peace,” your relationship is likely to be unhealthy and abusive.


Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings


  • Fear your partner much of the time?
  • Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • Feel emotionally numb or helpless?


Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats


  • Have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • Force you to have sex?
  • Destroy your belongings?


Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior


  • Humiliate or yell at you?
  • Criticize you and put you down?
  • Treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends and family to see?
  • Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • Blame you for their own abusive behavior?
  • See you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?



Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior


  • Act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • Control where you go and what you do?
  • Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • Constantly check on you?


Remember that ALL family members are harmed by domestic abuse, especially children.  Children who witness abuse or children who are abused themselves have a greater possibility of becoming bullies or becoming an abuser as an adult.  It is the parent’s responsibility to prevent family violence and end the cycle of abuse.

If you are coping with abuse or violence in your home, remember that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT and that you are not alone.  DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!   Please call the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office at 992-2151 for an emergency or the Victim Advocate at 318-992-2067, should you need assistance or have any questions.

Look for more information on domestic abuse in the coming months.