Domestic Violence Awareness : Psychological Impact and Resources

October is ‘Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)’. Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. On a typical day, there are more than 200,000 calls to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. Domestic violence is not exclusively physical. Psychological abuse increases the trauma of physical and sexual abuse. 7 out of 10 psychologically abused women display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression. There are a number of studies that have revealed that psychological abuse causes long-term damage to a victim’s mental health.

Women experiencing psychological abuse are significantly more likely to report poor mental and physical health. Victims of psychological abuse experience a range of symptoms including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, (PTSD), low self-esteem and low self-worth, difficulty trusting others, and suicidal ideation. Psychological abuse involves trauma to the victim caused by verbal abuse, acts, threats of acts, or coercive tactics. Perpetrators use psychological abuse to control, terrorize, and denigrate their
victims. It frequently occurs prior to or concurrently with physical or sexual abuse. Per the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), here are several ways to assess psychological abuse in a partner:

Does your partner:
● Threaten to harm you, your children, your family and/or your pets?
● Tell you are worthless and that no one else will ever love you?
● Isolate you from your friends and/or family?
● Control your behavior and monitor your movements and whereabouts?
● Tell you that you are crazy?
● Demean you in public or in private?
● Constantly criticize you?
● Blame you for everything that goes wrong?
● Stalk you?
● Cause you to feel guilt over things that are not your fault?
● Threaten to take away your children?

Although it can be difficult to break the cycle, it is possible to move forward after domestic violence and abuse. One may utilize community resources, lean on supportive friends and families, find rewarding outlets, engage in counseling to process trauma and work towards improving self-esteem and self efficacy.

Here are some resources available for victims and survivors of domestic violence:

● Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence

24/7 Free & Confidential:

1. Sexual Assault Hotline Text: 866-238-1454 or Call: 855-864-2374
2. Domestic Violence Hotline Text: 877-861-0222 or Call: 866-864-2338


Oakland County’s only comprehensive program for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. HAVEN provides shelter, counseling, advocacy and educational programming to nearly 30,000 people each year.
1. 24-HR Crisis & Support Hotline Call: 248-334-1274
2. HAVEN’s Business Phone #:248-334-1284

● Turning Point
Macomb County’s comprehensive program for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, including human trafficking through services and resources while advocating for community action to end oppression and violence. Turning Point provides emergency shelter, supportive counseling services, forensic nursing and legal advocacy.

1. 24-HR Hotline Call: 586-463-6990

2. Supportive Counseling Services 586-463-4430

● National Domestic Violence Hotline 1. 1-800- 799-SAFE (7233)