October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Other names for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, dating abuse, and relationship abuse.

For many, home is a place of love, warmth, and comfort. It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.

  • Nearly 20 people every minute are abused by an intimate partner in the United States.
  • Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other.
  • 1 in 4 men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

This adds up to more than 10 million people experiencing domestic violence each year. People of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, races, religions, and nationalities are affected by domestic violence. Because it is present in every community, awareness is vital.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please click here for help. If you are in danger, call 911.

Domestic violence has many forms. Understanding the different forms is crucial in recognizing when abuse is occurring. Domestic violence is often a combination of the following forms of abuse:

  • physical abuse
  • emotional and verbal abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • financial abuse
  • digital abuse
  • stalking

It is important to know signs of domestic violence. When we know what domestic violence looks like, we can take steps to help ourselves or others who are experiencing it. One or more of these behaviors could be a sign of domestic violence:

  • saying hurtful things, such as insulting or demeaning their partner, especially in front of other people
  • telling their partner that they can never do anything right
  • isolating their partner by preventing them from spending time with friends and family
  • intimidating their partner through threatening looks and actions (smashing objects, abusing pets, or displaying weapons)
  • threatening to take away children or pets
  • preventing their partner from making decisions
  • controlling household finances, including taking their partner’s money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses
  • pressuring their partner into sexual acts or into using drugs or alcohol
  • showing extreme jealousy

People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:

  • Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.
  • The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry and does love them.
  • It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.
  • Statistics suggest that almost 5 percent of male homicide victims each year are killed by an intimate partner.
  • They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.
  • They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.
  • Everyone deserves life free from domestic abuse. Many organizations work tirelessly to provide support and services to survivors.

Everyone deserves life free from domestic abuse. Many organizations work tirelessly to provide support and services to survivors.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please click here for help. If you are in danger, call 911.


Sometimes, people don’t know if they are really in an abusive relationship because they’re used to their partner calling them crazy or making them feel like all the problems are their own fault. Here are a few ways to know if you’re in an abusive relationship that you need to get out of.

  1. Your partner has hit you, beat you, or strangled you in the past.
  2. Your partner is possessive. They check up on you constantly wondering where you are; they get mad at you for hanging out with certain people if you don’t do what they say.
  3. Your partner is jealous. (A small amount of jealousy is normal and healthy) however, if they accuse you of being unfaithful or isolate you from family or friends, that means the jealousy has gone too far.
  4. Your partner puts you down. They attack your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. They blame you for all of their violent outbursts and tell you nobody else will want you if you leave.
  5. Your partner threatens you or your family.
  6. Your partner physically and sexually abuses you. If they EVER push, shove, or hit you, or make you have sex with them when you don’t want to, they are abusing you (even if it doesn’t happen all the time.)


Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The “Day of Unity” soon evolved into a week, and in October of 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. In 1989 Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has been passed each year since.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please click here for help. If you are in danger, call 911.

For local help – in Wicomico County – Life Crisis Center – 24 hour hotline – 410-749-4357

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-7233

Domestic Violence Advocacy Center – 302-856-5843 – https://www.childinc.com/

For information about Domestic Violence – https://www.lifecrisiscenter.org/

Delaware Helpline – dial 2-1-1

Maryland’s Helpline – dial 2-1-1

NCADV – https://ncadv.org/

Partial information from – https://nationaldaycalendar.com & Wicomico County Health Department

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