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MIND & BODY: Domestic violence affects millions

Domestic violence affects millions of men and women across every race, ethnicity, status and religion. 

What many people are surprised to learn is that domestic violence is not just about being physically harmed. 

Intimate partner violence can take many forms that include stalking, threatening, humiliation or even preventing access to someone’s finances. 

Overall, domestic and intimate partner violence is about controlling another person and is more broad than just physical violence, although both of these often go hand in hand. 

In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was passed to hold offenders of domestic violence accountable and provide programs and services to survivors of domestic abuse. 

Between 1993 and 2010, the overall rate of domestic violence dropped by nearly 66 percent. This is in part to do with this act and states creating reforms to address issues such as dating abuse in the workplace, stalking and employment discrimination. 

Almost three out of four Americans know someone who is or has been a victim of intimate partner violence at one time. 

The following is a list of common warning signs of domestic violence:  

— Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission

— Extreme jealousy or insecurity

— Constant belittling or put-downs

— Explosive temper

— Isolation from family and friends

— Making false accusations

— Constant mood swings towards you

— Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way

— Possessiveness

— Telling someone what they can and cannot do

— Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex.

If you or someone you know might need assistance or want to learn more about domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE to speak with a professional about ways to protect yourself and loved ones. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.