Twelve million… that’s the number of people impacted by domestic violence every year, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. In Mecklenburg County, there were 8,845 domestic-violence related incident reports filed with police in 2017.
“The numbers are heartbreaking, but what’s really sad is that anyone can be an abuser and anyone can be abused,” says Thomas Bumgardner, an attorney with the Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner, PLLC.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone you may know because abuse does not discriminate. It could be happening to a co-worker, a friend, your neighbor and even a family member.
“Abuse can come in many different forms, from physical abuse to even financial abuse. It’s important to know the signs so that you or someone you love can help get the help and support they need to try and get out of the abusive relationship,” Bumgardner says.
Domestic Violence Warning Signs
If you’re concerned that someone in your life is being abused, The National Domestic Violence Hotline says you’ll want to pay attention to certain warning signs:
- Their partner puts them down in front of other people
- They are constantly worried about making their partner angry
- They make excuses for their partner’s behavior
- Their partner is extremely jealous or possessive
- They have unexplained marks or injuries
- They’ve stopped spending time with friends and family
- They are depressed or anxious, or you notice changes in their personality
How Can You Help Your Loved One
The number one thing is to be supportive.
Your first instinct will be to try and “rescue” them but ultimately it’s their decision to leave their partner, according to The National Domestic Violence Hotline. You will have to respect their decision if they decide to stay in the relationship, but let your loved one know that you will be there for them whenever they need you.
It’s also important to encourage them to take part in activities outside of the relationship and to help them develop a safety plan. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has information on how to put together a personalized safety plan which includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave or after they leave the relationship.
You should also encourage them to talk to people who can provide help and guidance, such as counselors or support groups.
Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Help
There are several options in Mecklenburg County where domestic violence victims can get help.
Mecklenburg County’s Community Support Services Prevention and Intervention Services provides support for adult victims, child witnesses, teen victims, perpetrators of dating and domestic violence and substance use.
Safe Alliance in Mecklenburg County is a shelter for domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse. They help more than 10,000 people a year.
There is also Baitul Hemayah, Inc. in Charlotte. According to their website, it is an organization that is devoted to ending domestic violence in the Muslim, non-Muslim and immigrant communities by raising awareness and providing cultural sensitivity training.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline operates around the clock and provides immediate support for victims. The organization’s number is 1-800-799-7233.
We here at the Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner, PLLC want you to know that you’re never alone and you can use any of the resources above to get you the help that you need to get out of an abusive and scary situation.
We can also help you get a divorce from your abusive spouse. Our law office always puts you and your family’s best interests first. We will fight for you. You can contact us online or call us at (704) 870-4779 for a free consultation.