In this digital age, stands are taken, victories are won (and lost) and causes are put in the spotlight through social networking vehicles such as Twitter and Facebook. On Monday, Twitter users began using the hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou to show that abusive relationships aren’t limited to physically violent ones. Domestic violence can come in many forms, including mental or emotional abuse.
The hashtag was inspired by a series of tweets last week by former domestic violence victim, Zahira Kelly, who wrote such passages as: “maybe he doesnt hit u. he just comes home angry at the world& broke& starts putting u down for being a useless parasite whos why hes broke” and “MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he knew what to say to keep you going back to him after he emotionally devastated you.” Since then the hashtag has taken off with many offers sharing their experiences and tips for recognizing an abusive relationship.
What is Domestic Violence?
There remains a persistent misconception that domestic violence means hitting or pushing or shoving, when that is simply not the case. Many abusers use other forms of abuse such as threats, intimidation, belittling or even stalking to control their victims. In fact, domestic violence includes five categories of abuse — physical, sexual, economic, emotional and psychological. Unfortunately, many myths persist about abusive relationships. One of the myths mentioned is the belief that domestic violence is a rare occurrence when, in fact, women and children are more at risk of violence in their homes and relationships, by men they know, than in the street. Domestic violence never shows up in statistics as much as it occurs. (Catalano, Shannan. Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics-2007)
Help for Emotional Abuse
Hopefully, times are changing and these myths are being eradicated, through modern avenues such as Twitter and Facebook. As Ms. Kelly stated, “Abuse is often seen as very cut and dry, and only physical. For several years now on social media, on a daily basis I’ve talked about many different forms of abuse and what they look like.” The thousands of tweets, using the hashtag, aim to raise awareness of the signs of non-physical abuse. Twitter users have been pointing to examples of abusive behavior, such as “#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he manipulates you and controls you.”
If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship, it is time to get help. If your safety is in immediate jeopardy, call the police and leave the situation, now. If you can, file for a restraining order or file a police report. Contact your local domestic violence shelter for assistance with creating a plan of action for safe departure. No one should live with an abusive partner. It is not your fault.
For help, contact the New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline : 1 (800) 572-SAFE (7233) 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline provides confidential access to domestic violence information and services, including crisis intervention, referral, and advocacy. Bilingual and accessible to the deaf and hearing impaired.
To discuss your legal rights as a victim of domestic violence, including the option of seeking a restraining order or seeking temporary spousal support and/or child support to give you money to move out, our attorneys are here to safeguard your future. Please contact us to schedule your free consultation.
Free Kindle Download: Legal Rights for Victims of Domestic Violence in New Jersey