Warning signs of domestic and sexual violence


MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN)- October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

1 in three women and 1 in four men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. We talked with Alisha Young from the Women’s Center in Marquette about how to recognize the warning signs if you or someone you know is in a domestically violent relationship.

“Maybe going from low self-esteem, to somebody that used to be really outgoing and playful, is now quiet and withdrawn. So those are just some typical warning signs. Maybe, you know, when they are out with friends, they are constantly getting texts or calls from their partner. It’s a very controlling relationship. Not having money to do things, financial abuse is often things we see as well,” said Young, the program director at the Women’s Center.

Other warning signs: physical marks (bruises, sprains, broken bones, red marks), wearing long sleeves on a hot day, always apologizing, anxious, fear, change in eating and/or sleeping habits, signs of depression, calling into work, isolation from family and friends, referring to their partner as jealous or controlling, skipping out on activities they had planned.

Some reasons people stay in abusive relationships, according to Women’s Center, is due to a fear that no one will believe them, hope that the perpetrator will change, or the perpetrator has threated to hurt or kill them or their family.

Marquette’s Women’s Center offers “counseling, support groups, and supportive advocacy services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence dating violence, human trafficking, and stalking.”
They also offer Harbor House, an emergency shelter that accepts women, men, and children survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

“[Harbor House] is completely free and confidential. All they do is call number 906-226-6611. With that, they’ll do an assessment over the phone to assess the lethality of the situation. We have a 16-bed shelter. We have food, everything like that is taken care of so they don’t have to worry about that. It’s a lockdown facility, it’s very safe. So if anybody needs to get out of a situation, they’re living with the abuser. Just call that number and we’ll make sure we can take care of you,” said Young.

If you or somebody you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, you can call the 24/7 Crisis Line at 1-800-455-6611.

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