Though domestic violence has become a high-profile issue in the U.S., it remains widespread. On average, nearly 20 Americans per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, the equivalent of more than 10 million victims annually.
And domestic violence isn’t only physical; it can take the shape of psychological intimidation, sexual coercion, and other abusive behaviors that are part of a pattern of power and control one partner uses against another.
It can happen to anyone in any kind of relationship, across all gender identities. According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality.”
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a great time to raise awareness and challenge outdated ideas about its forms, as well as an opportunity to share resources.
Identifying abusive tendencies can be the first step to getting help. Examples of abusive tendencies include:
- Showing jealousy towards family and friends
- Accusations of cheating
- Preventing or discouraging communication with friends or family members
- Embarrassing or shaming using insults and put-downs
- Pressure to engage in any sexual activity without consent
There is no one model for what an abusive power dynamic looks like. Abusive partners can use the same tactics to gain power and control regardless of the gender identity or sexual orientation of each partner. These tactics include – but are not exclusive to – physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, financial control, emotional manipulation, and isolation.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone; there are many organizations that provide information and support.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) are tools people experiencing domestic violence can use to protect themselves from HIV infection and take control of their sexual health. Find sexual health resources in NYC with the NYC HealthMap.
Anti-Violence Project (for LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities)
Good Shephard Services (for New Yorkers affected by domestic violence with targeted services for communities including Spanish-speakers, youth, and LGBTQ individuals)
Urban Resource Institute (for New Yorkers affected by domestic violence)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Awareness Project
Amida Care can also help. Amida Care is a Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan (SNP) that currently serves 7,000 members throughout the five boroughs of New York City and provides information on domestic violence counseling and other services for its members. Please contact us at 1-855-GO-AMIDA to be directed to more health resources.