The Truth About Domestic Violence: 5 Things I Learned About Abuse

Jul 31, 2014 12:50 PM ET

Inspiring Beauty Through Caring

As I continue to learn about domestic abuse, I find that it’s far more pervasive than I thought. Cases don’t always look the same, and abuse doesn't always include physical violence.

Here are some things I learned this week. I hope you’ll find them helpful. Even if you don’t realize it, you probably know someone affected by domestic abuse.

1   Most shelters or hotlines require phone or in-person counselors to have more than 40 hours of domestic violence training. I find this very impressive — both on the part of the shelter and the volunteers who go through it.

2   The relationship may not be abusive all the time. (There is even a “honeymoon” phase that may occur regularly when the abuser cries, apologizes and buys gifts.)

3   Abuse comes in many forms including physical, emotional, sexual, financial and even spiritual.

4   If no intervention occurs — the children growing up in these households often never recover. They often become abusers and continue the cycle through the generations.

5   Women’s shelters have some amazing services including children’s programs, career counseling, legal services and educational programs. I found one shelter that even has a school onsite for the children.