Abuse and violence against women comes in many forms.
The spectrum of violence against women includes sexual assaults, family violence, intimate partner violence, financial, and psychological abuse. These different kinds of abuse can result in long-term repercussions for health and well-being, complicated legal consequences, and further impact the workplace and financial situation of victims.
Staff in our organizations are trained in recognizing the signs of different forms of abuse, and are ready to help and support individual women by providing safety-planning, advocacy, counseling, referrals and other resources, always respecting and empowering women's informed choices and decisions.
Women who live with abuse may:
- Feel shameful and may want to keep the abuse secret.
- Feel like they are crazy and that there is something wrong within themselves.
- Feel powerless to change or improve their situation.
- Fear of reprisal from the abuser.
- Doubt their own judgement or wonder if they are to blame.
- Find they are unable to express an opinion in front of their partner.
- Have to ask permission to spend money, see friends, and feel afraid of the response.
- Feel increasingly depressed, trapped, and powerless.
There are many barriers to leaving an abusive relationship, including:
- Lack of affordable housing.
- No one will believe her about the abuse.
- Fear of losing their children.
- False belief that they will lose everything if they leave the home.
- Knowledge that the law gives them little protection.
- False belief that they are responsible for the abuse.
- Fear of poverty without his income.
- Fear of continued violence against themselves or other family members.
- He's not abusive all the time.
- False belief that things will get better after the birth of a child.
- He says he's sorry and won't do it again.
- False belief that he's a good father despite the children hearing or witnessing his abuse.
- Still love their partner.
- Partner's threats of suicide if she leaves.
- That she can change him.
- That if she just does what she's told, everything will be alright.
- Isolation from family and friends.
We all have a right to:
- Not to be abused.
- To freedom from fear of abuse.
- To request and expect assistance from the police and social agencies.
- To leave an abusive environment.
- To privacy.
- To legally prosecute my abusing spouse.
- Not to be perfect.