Firstly, it’s important to beware of stereotypes when dealing with domestic violence. “When the words ‘domestic abuse’ are uttered, much of the general public envisions a burly, hairy-shouldered man in (naturally) a ‘wife-beater’ shirt, slapping a woman around in a trailer park or some sort of public housing,” Ayoob writes. “In fact, domestic abuse crosses all lines of economy, occupation and social stature. It has occurred in the mansions and castles of the super-wealthy and titled nobility. Doctors and lawyers and judges, clergymen, chiefs of police and educators have been proven guilty of domestic violence. This includes people of all colors and all faiths—and yes, of both genders.”
Domestic violence might also be a harbinger of further violence outside the home. “In the same sense as the old saying ‘charity begins at home,’ many aberrant people will begin their pattern of extreme violence at home and then branch outward, even to a homicidal level,” Ayoob writes. “The worst mass murder to ever occur at a school in the U.S. was committed by 55-year-old Andrew Kehoe in 1927. He used explosives to blow up an elementary school in Bath, Michigan, murdering 38 children and five adults. Prior to setting off the dynamite and incendiaries, he murdered his ailing wife, leaving her corpse in a wheelbarrow on the grounds of his farm.”
It is also important to know that there are many options for help outside the home. “Many, if not most, communities have domestic abuse hotlines, shelters for battered women and children, and similar services,” Ayoob writes. “Existing at the municipal and county level, they are dependent in large part on volunteers, some of whom even provide safe houses in areas where no formal shelter exists.”
For the full roundup of 7 Things to Know About Domestic Violence, head over to RealWorldSurvivor.com!
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