On Thursday, Charles Wilkinson was indicted for the death of his 65 year old wife. Sadly, Saratoga County has seen too many domestic homicides in in recent years. Often after such a tragedy, friends, neighbors and family are shocked that the person they wave to every morning could commit such violence against a partner.
Increasingly, we’re viewing domestic violence not as a private matter to be politely ignored, but as something we all need to be concerned about. Domestic violence impacts not only the victim, but our workplaces, our neighborhoods, and the people in our lives. If you’re concerned about someone who may be experiencing relationship violence, talk to them, It’s a hard conversation to start, but your caring words may save their life.
Starting a conversation is difficult, but if you think someone is in trouble, unsafe, being controlled, abused, or dominated, then speaking up is the right thing to do.
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used by one person in an intimate relationship to control another through one of the following:
- emotional abuse/controlling behavior
- verbal abuse
- psychological abuse
- sexual control or abuse
- threatening behaviors
- economic abuse
- physical violence
- Is he/she nervous, jumpy, and walking on eggshells?
- Does he/she seem afraid of their partner or overly anxious to please their partner?
- Has he/she stopped seeing friends or family, doing the things they enjoy?
- Has he/she stopped making decisions – leavings them all up to their partner?
- Does he/she stay in constant contact with their partner throughout the day?
- Has he/she become anxious or depressed, unusually quiet, and/or lost their confidence?
- At work, is he/she often tardy, or miss work, get contacted all day by their partner, or have poor concentration?
- Does he/she have any visible signs – bruises, broken bones, scratches, cuts, bite marks, other injuries (often with unlikely explanations)?
Some of these reasons include:
- Belief that the abuser will change, that the abuse is their fault or that it is normal.
- Fear of loneliness, economic hardship, losing custody of children or fear for safety.
- Isolation from family, friends, community may leave the victim with no self esteem and/or feeling that she/he has no where to go.
- Love and the desire to keep family together.
- Educate yourself about domestic violence – review DVRC’s website; call DVRC and talk with an advocate
- Tell them you care about them and are concerned about them
- Ask if they are safe
- Refer them to DVRC
- Do NOT judge their situation and their choices, blame them, give them advice or tell them what to do – it’s their choice.
If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse, call now… to talk about what is happening… to find out your options… to develop a safety plan. We can help.Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Servicesof Saratoga CountyAll services are free and confidential24-hour hotline 518-584-8188