By JENN BEARY
Editors note: This is the second article of a third-part series on domestic abuse
Domestic violence strikes people everywhere, and despite what many may think, Provo is not exempt from these instances of abuse.
According to the Provo Police Department, the number of verified cases of domestic violence in Provo within the last year is 477.
The American Psychological Association did a project on violence and the family, and found that “Between 3.3 million and 25 million children experience domestic violence in their home each year. The number is greatly under-reported.” The APA goes on to say that, “Girls from homes with domestic violence are 6.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted; and more likely to become pregnant as a teen.” And that, “Boys from homes with domestic violence are four times more likely to abuse in a dating relationship, 25 times more likely to commit rape as an adult, 6 times more likely to commit suicide, have a 74 percent greater chance of committing crimes against others, are 24 times more likely to commit a sexual assault as an adult, and 1000 times more likely to commit violent acts against an adult partner or their children.”
So, how can you prevent these things from happening to you? Once again, I talked with Kim Rime, a Social Worker in charge of Women’s Treatment Services for Domestic Violence at the Center for Women and Children in Crisis for more answers. Here were her answers to my questions:
JENN: “Can you give me some forms of prevention?”
KIM: “The best thing for women to be aware of are the possible signs of a battering personality–and this is extremely good for students to realize. Some signs are jealousy, insecurity, and possessiveness. Other controlling behaviors (include): making her ask permission all the time, love at first sight, and even a pressure to commit. Verbal abuse, degrading comments, cursing, threats of violence–even joking about it. And also breaking or striking objects, cruelty to animals or children. Even someone that blames others for his own feelings, or his problems. Another example would be a Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde personality–someone with sudden mood swings. Someone who may seem charming to outsiders, but is abusive to the person in the relationship.”
JENN: “Do cases of abuse happen before a couple get married, typically, or does a spouse hide it until after marriage?”
KIM: “Well these types of signs, yeah, they do happen beforehand. A lot of students that I’ve talked to that have been in here, when I ask them ‘Did you see any of these signs before you were married?’ And they say, ‘I did. But I got used to it. I didn’t realize it was abuse or that it was a problem until now.’ The biggest sign in these cases is just controlling behavior and jealousy, insecurity, and possessiveness. These are major signs that somebody needs to look at in the dating periods.”
If you are currently in a relationship with someone displaying these characteristics, you can call The Center for Women and Children in Crisis at 377-5500.