My Walk Through The Fog(Gaslighting)

When you are a victim of gaslighting it feels like you are walking through fog. A never ending, dense fog. Trying to grab a hold on to reality. Asking yourself what reality even really is any more. Even more important, trying to grasp onto your reality. You are faced with trying to identify who you are. What is your purpose. Constantly questioning your insanity. The abuser says things like “You’re crazy” or “What are you talking about? That never happened, you’re making stuff up.”

 

Looking for somewhere to turn, somewhere to run. How can I get out of this fog. I can’t see in front of me or either side of me. I surely do not want to try and look behind me. Unable to get a sense of direction, I turn to the only person I have for guidance. I have nobody else, they are all gone. The same person I run to for guidance is the same person who has me blindfolded by his lies. My mind is being suffocated by his poisonous tongue.

 

It’s my fault. I can never do anything right. I’m crazy he says. So he must be right. He’s always right. He knows me better than I know myself. Who am I? My identity seems to have slipped through the cracks of my fingers. Through the cracks of my mind. My identity is not my own. I watch as it slips through the cracks of time.

 

Walking through the fog, in search of my identity. Searching for a glimpse of who I once was. Searching for hope. Searching for a promise. A promise that time and time again has been broken. Searching for truth. Searching…searching…searching! Each day hoping to find myself. Each day hoping to find clarity. Every time I seem to get a step close to who I am and where I am, he seems to be right there pulling me back even deeper into the dense fog. I want to scream for help.Yet I know no one would hear me. I’m all alone. I’m all alone…

 

The fog thickens around me. I feel myself weakening the longer that I am here. I don’t want to fight anymore. I just want to give up. Time to throw in the towel. Fighting only wastes more energy. Maybe this is where I am supposed to be. Maybe this is who I really am. Maybe it’s who I’ve always been? Oh my god he has been right this whole time? I don’t know how much longer I can last. How much more can I take? I begin to raise my white flag to surrender.

Just as I was about to give up. Right before I raised the flag, I saw a glimmer of light breaking through the fog. HOPE! Hope has found me! Hope has come to my rescue! The fog starts to dissipate. I begin to feel my strength slowly return to me. I am becoming more alert of my surroundings now. I begin to see the reality for what it really is. I realize that this is not where I am supposed to be. This is not what I deserve. I deserve so much more. I have to get out of here. I have to break free. He is aware of it all. He sees that I am catching on. He again lures me back into the fog. Damn! I can’t believe I am here once again. How does he do it? The process starts over again. Again…and again…and again. In the fog, at the edge of the fog. Back and forth. It’s like a revolving door.

 

It’s hard to get out. It’s hard to escape. Always questioning yourself, always second guessing your thoughts, your perception, your memories. Then one day you realize you are not the same person who you once were. You are an empty shell. We need to listen to our instincts. We cannot stay in this same place. We have to walk out of this fog and not look back. We have to have hope and know that there are clearer days ahead of us. We can make it out and we will make it out!

Gaslighting- What is it?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!! With that being said, I wanted to start off with bringing awareness to gaslighting. I plan on writing a few blogs on this one topic before starting the next. What is gaslighting? Giving examples of gaslighting. As well as sharing my personal experiences with gaslighting. As always, I invite my readers to comment, share and make suggestions on my blogs. So let us get right into it!

 

Do you know where the term “gaslighting” comes from? It comes from a 1938 stage play titled  Gas Light, Where the husband tries to drive his wife his wife insane by messing with the lights which in those days were controlled by gas. He would dim the lights and when she would notice it and say something to him he would tell her that the lights didn’t change.

 

So what is gaslighting exactly? Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse, where the victim begins questioning their own sanity. They begin questioning their reality and their emotions. This form of abuse gives the abuse an immense amount of power over their victim. As we know, abuse is all about control and power. Therefore, once the abuser manipulates the victims reality, the victim will be less likely to leave the abuser. Gaslighting is something that tends to happen gradually, it is not something that happens overnight. As time goes on; a victim can become, depressed, anxious, confused and even isolated to the point where they lose sense of what is actually going on. This in turn can lead to the victim relying on the abuser more and more and becoming more dependent on them defining what reality actually is. This creates a difficult and possibly dangerous situation for the victim to escape.

 

Below are examples of several gaslighting techniques. Is your significant other using any of these?

 

Withholding: This is when the abuser refuses to listen or acts like they don’t understand. Example: “You’re confusing me!” or “ I do not want to hear this again!”

 

Countering: The abuser starts to question the victim’s memory or thoughts. Regardless is the victim remembers them accurately. Example: “You never remember things correctly.”

 

Blocking/Diverting: When the abuser tries to change the subject or questions the victim’s thinking. Example: “Did you get this crazy idea from (persons name) again?”

 

Trivializing: This is when the abuser makes the victim’s emotions seem unimportant. Example: “You’re too sensitive.”

 

Forgetting/Denial: The abuser acts as if they have forgotten what has actually happened or denies things like promises they made to the victim. Example: “You’re making stuff up.” or “I don’t know what you are talking about!”

 

SIGNS THAT YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER IS GASLIGHTING YOU:

 

  • Always second guessing yourself.
  • You ask yourself multiple times a day if you are too sensitive.
  • Frequently feel confused or even crazy.
  • Constantly apologizing to your significant other.
  • Lack of understanding that with a lot of good things in your life you still aren’t happy.
  • You often make excuses to your friends and family for your significant other.
  • You withhold information from your friends and family in order to not make excuses for your significant other.
  • You are aware that there is something horribly wrong, but you can’t seem to express it, even to your own self.
  • You start telling lies to avoid put downs.
  • You have difficulty making even the simplest decisions.
  • You sense that at one point you used to be a confident,loving, carefree and more relaxed individual.
  • You feel hopeless.
  • You feel like you can never do anything right.
  • You start to wonder if you’re “good enough” for your significant other.

 

Gaslighting is a serious form of emotional abuse. It leaves the victim in a “fog-like” state. What was once their reality no longer exists. What was once their identity has been stripped from them. The victim’s reality has literally turned into a horrible nightmare. If you or someone you know is or has been a victim of gaslighting, I urge you to reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline which is exactly where I got the above information from.You can chat with one of their advocates online via the above link, or call and speak to an advocate at 1-800-799-7233.

 

Verbal/Emotional Abuse

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Verbal/Emotional abuse is something I refer to as the unseen scars of abuse. Black eyes, scratches, bite marks etc. All those heal. But the abuse that one experiences mentally, verbally, and emotionally, those are deep rooted. These types of scars take a very long time to heal. Because in order to heal one has to find themselves once again. One has to remember who they once were. And I used the word “were” because when someone is involved in an abusive relationship truthfully they lose themselves. You lose everything, most importantly losing your voice, and the strength to stand up and defend yourself. Fear literally grips you like a vice. You live your life walking on eggshells in order to keep your partner happy. Not fully knowing at the time that they will never fully be satisfied.

In my previous blog I posted about the different forms of abuse. So I copied the stats regarding verbal and emotional abuse and pasted them into this blog so that way we can dig a little deeper into this form of abuse. I have found that many people tend to focus just on the physical aspect of abuse.Not realizing that it goes far more deeper than that. It goes deeper than what the eyes can see. What a lot of people fail to realize is that this form of abuse tends to be the one that holds a victim hostage. I have had people tell me: “I would have left after the first time that he or she hit me.” Not understanding that the abuser has already made this person feel helpless and/or hopeless. Not knowing that the abuser isolates the victim from friends and family so that they feel like there is nowhere to go, and that they are alone.

Domestic violence relationships are more than just getting physically abused. Your whole being gets abused. Everything that you are gets abused. Everything you wanted to be gets abused. Every word out your mouth gets used against you.Everything that you say and do tends to be wrong. Even if it is what your partner wanted you to say or do, they still find something wrong with it and take it out on you.

“One definition of emotional abuse is: “any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”1 Emotional abuse is also known as psychological abuse or as “chronic verbal aggression” by researchers. People who suffer from emotional abuse tend to have very low self-esteem, show personality changes (such as becoming withdrawn) and may even become depressed, anxious or suicidal.”

“Emotional Abuse: Definitions, Signs, Symptoms, Examples – HealthyPlace.” HealthyPlace. Web. 7 Oct. 2015. <http://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/emotional-abuse-definitions-signs-symptoms-examples/>.

Emotional/Verbal abuse does not include physical contact. It is verbal threats, insults, “checking-in”, excessive phone calls and/or text messages, intimidation or stalking.

Examples of Verbal/Emotional abuse:

Calling you names

Putting you down

Embarrassing you in front of others.

Keeping you away from your friends and family (Isolation)

Making you feel guilty when you do not give your consent for sexual activity.

Blaming your actions for their abusive behavior.

Telling you what to do

Telling you what to wear

Making threats to commit suicide to stop you from leaving them.

Making threats to harm you, your pet, or people you care about.

“Is This Abuse? – Www.loveisrespect.org.” Www Loveisrespect Org. Web. 26 Sept. 2015. <http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/

Those on the outside looking in understandably cannot comprehend how someone can tolerate abuse for the length of time that they do.Going back to my first blog, where I talked about my personal experience with domestic violence: Imagine repeatedly being told that you are worthless, that you are stupid, that no one else will ever love you, repeatedly! You start to believe it. You start to take on those traits, as false as they are, they become you! That now becomes your identity. You become what you think. Who you believe you are is exactly who you will become. Now I know there is someone reading this and thinking, “I will never allow someone to hold so much power…blah blah blah.” But let me tell you, even the “toughest soldiers” can fall prey to this abuse.

People have to remember, a lot of emotions are involved here which is why it is so hard to escape. The two biggest emotions being love and fear. Sounds crazy right? Let me break it down. The victim fell in love with their partner originally, everything about them seemed perfect in their eyes. Swept them off their feet, treated them like a King or Queen. The abuser reeled them in. “Hook, line and sinker.” They got them! The web was spun and the once confident, outgoing, strong-willed person who said that would never happen to them got caught in the web of lies, and now feels like a “dead man walking” completely zombified! Yet, as crazy as some might think the love still remains, they love the person they originally met, and they now hold on to hope, hoping that the person they first met will return and things will go back to the way they used to be. As for fear, fear has been placed into them by threats of what will happen to them if the victim leaves, or tells someone of what has and is taking place. Not only that, but the fear of what others may think if they were to know, which leads to shame and embarrassment. Which therefore leads the victim to stay tangled in this web of a vicious cycle.

In order to come out of this situation, the victim has to see the way out. The blinders have to come off and they have to realize that there is hope. The hope that the victim has that things will change has to be switched over to know that things will only get worse, and the only way things will get better is by getting to the escape route.

How do you find the escape route you ask? If you are the one in the abusive relationship, first understand that you are definitely not alone! Understand that your family and friends love you and are willing to help. Now I know circumstances vary, maybe friends and family do not live closeby for you to just up and leave. But reach out anyways, they may know someone who can get you to them. As in previous blogs as well as this one, go to the websites provided, reach out to them whether it be through the hotline numbers provided, or even through the virtual chats that they have.

If you are someone looking to help someone get out of this situation and are not sure of what to do, the first thing I urge you to do is let them know that you are there for them. Keep in mind that your friend or family member may not just blurt out and tell you what is going on due to shame and embarrassment as well as trust issues. It has nothing to do with you personally. It is due to the traumatic experiences that they are going through. If they have not told you that they are in fact in this type of relationship do not badger them to try and get it out of them. I know it seems hard to do, but remember, you want them to feel and know that they can trust you. Let them know that if they need anything that you are always available. That is important, because when I knew I had to leave I knew I could call my sister, I knew that when I told her I had to get out that she would leave wherever she was to come and get me.

Maybe you are not quite sure of what to say, maybe you are afraid of saying the wrong thing. It is okay, if someone comes to you and tells you that they need to get out, you can always suggest the websites I have posted, or you can even do your own research for resources around their area. You can even suggest calling these places for them to ensure their safety.

The whole point of these blogs, is to raise awareness, the more we educate ourselves and others, the more lives we can save! I strongly believe that which is why this is an important mission to me.

Please share this blog with your friends and family, through emails, social media, any way you can get the word out. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have by going to my contact page and filling out the contact form. (Do not worry I am the ONLY person who has access to the email account). I will do my best to help by any means necessary.

Photo Credit: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EwltBIOfocM/VXrX1fTxy-I/AAAAAAAACMM/XUo6M7feAVY/s640/blogger-image-171731757.jpg

Dear Survivors

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Dear Survivors;

You made it! You got your strength and found your courage. You found your voice and you got your dignity back. It was a traumatic road; but you managed to re-route your GPS and get back on the right track.

You broke through those prison walls, and escaped that living hell. You can now lift your head up and take a deep breath. You are safe!

As a survivor myself I applaud you! I congratulate you for taking these first steps to freedom. I know there are still some obstacles you have to go through as you continue healing, but believe me you will get stronger each and every day. I congratulate you for re-gaining control of your life! You are on your way to bigger and better things. You no longer have to had in the shadows of fear. Those dark clouds have passed and the sun is shining brighter than ever before. It is a new day, embrace it to it’s fullest!

-Shauna Driscoll

Photo Credit: “I Am a Survivor.” LoveThisPic. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <http://www.lovethispic.com/image/43136/i-am-a-survivor>.

What is domestic violence?

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, with that being said I will be posting information on this issue. Education is power, so the more widespread this becomes, the more people we can empower to get the help they need.I hope to bring some clarity to this topic as this is something that really hits very close to home for me as you may have read in my last post.

I know that there are several sites out there to offer assistance, and there is no need to fear of “being caught” I know several of these sites have a button on their page that you can click on and it directs you to a completely different site such as a clothing site or a news site. These sites are designed to inform and protect you.

So what is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.

Abuse is to treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.

Types of abuse:

·Physical

·Emotional/Verbal

·Sexual

·Financial

·Digital

·Stalking

Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Physical abuse does not always leave a mark, and may not even cause pain.

Examples of physical abuse:

·Scratching

·Punching

·Biting

·Choking

·Kicking

·Picking something up and throwing it at you, for example; a shoe, a book, or a phone.

·Pushing or pulling you.

·Forcing you to have sex or to perform a sexual act.

·Grabbing your face forcefully to make you look at them.

·Forcibly grabbing you to either prevent you from leaving or to force you to go somewhere.

A lot of people ask the question “How do I escape?” I remember when that seemed like it was totally impossible. From personal experience, the first step is knowing that you are not alone. There is always a friend or family member that you can go to and talk about your situation. No matter how obscure your relationship may be with someone, no one wants to see anyone in an unsafe relationship. I know at times I felt alone and like I had no one to go to, but when I came forward with my story, it was amazing the number of people that came out of the woodwork to offer me strength and encouragement.

Abusive relationships escalate. So it’s important that people are aware of the warning signs to prevent any more harm.

Emotional/Verbal abuse does not include physical contact. It is verbal threats, insults, “checking-in”, excessive phone calls and/or text messages, intimidation or stalking.

Examples of Verbal/Emotional abuse:

·Calling you names

·Putting you down

·Embarrassing you in front of others.

·Keeping you away from your friends and family (Isolation)

·Making you feel guilty when you do not give your consent for sexual activity.

·Blaming your actions for their abusive behavior.

·Telling you what to do

·Telling you what to wear

·Making threats to commit suicide to stop you from leaving them.

·Making threats to harm you, your pet, or people you care about.

Sexual abuse is any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do. It also refers to behavior that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, which includes oral sex, rape, or restricting access to birth control and condoms.

Just because you are in a relationship does not entitle your partner to have sex when he or she wants it. Just because someone does not say no does not mean that they are consenting to it either. Sometimes the victim does not resist or say no out of fear of further physical or sexual abuse.

Examples of sexual abuse:

·Unwanted kissing or touching

·Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity

·Rape or attempted rape

·Refusing to use condoms or restricting someone’s access to birth control.

·Keeping someone from protecting themselves from STD’s or STI’s.

·Sexual contact with someone who is intoxicated, drugged, unconscious or in any way unable to give a clear yes or no answer.

·Threatening someone into unwanted sexual activity.

·Constantly pressuring someone to have sex or perform sexual acts

·Regularly using sexual insults toward someone.

Financial abuse is when someone tells you what you can or cannot buy, and shares control of your bank accounts credit cards, and cash. This form of abuse is particularly dangerous when coupled with any other form of abuse. Financial abuse is often how an abuser forces someone to stay in the relationship.

Examples of financial abuse:

·Giving you an allowance and paying close attention to what you buy.

·Depositing your paycheck into their account and denying you access.

·Not allowing you to view the bank records.

·Not allowing you to go to work, or if you do work sets a limit of how many hours you can work a shift.

·Stopping you from going to work by taking your car or keys.

·Getting you fired by harassing you,your employer or coworkers at your job.

·Using your social security number to obtain credit without your consent.

·Refusing to give you money, food, rent, medicine or clothing.

·Spending money on themselves yet not allowing you to do the same.

·Buying you gifts, or taking you out to dinner and paying for it and expecting you to in some way return the favor.

·Using their money to hold power over you because they know you are not in the same financial situation that they are.

No one has the authority to tell you what to do with your own money. No one has the authority to tell you if you can or cannot work, and if you can how many hours you are allowed to work. You are your own person, your own individual. What’s yours is yours, and what’s theirs is theirs. If you want to buy something for yourself than you are allowed to do so. If by chance you have opened up a shared bank account, I suggest you go and open up a personal one right away, if you are getting paper checks, get that new account and see if your employer has the option of direct deposit. If your social security number was used, report it! And see about changing your SSN.

Digital abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social media to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. This same behavior is also a form of verbal or emotional abuse done online. It is never okay for someone to lower your self-esteem, make you think less of yourself or to manipulate you.

Examples of digital abuse:

·Tells you who you can or cannot be friends with on social media sites.

·Sends you negative or threatening emails, messages on social media, or any form of messaging on the internet.

·Uses social media sites to keep tabs on you.

·Tears you down on their posts.

·Sends you explicit pictures and demands you to do the same.

·Pressures you into sending explicit videos of yourself.

·Steals/hacks or insists on you given them your passwords.

·Continuously texts you and has you feel like you cannot be away from your phone in fear of further consequence.

·Looks through your phone and checks your photos, text messages, and call history.

Whether on or offline no one deserves to be mistreated. Verbal and emotional abuse hurts just as bad whether it is in person or over the internet.

Stalking is when a person regularly watches, follows or harasses you, making you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and afraid, A stalker can be anyone, it can be an ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend, a family member, or a complete stranger. The legal definition for stalking varies from state to state, below are several examples of what stalkers may do.

Examples of stalking:

·Showing up at your home or place of employment unannounced or uninvited.

·Sending you unwanted text,letters,emails and voicemails.

·Leaves you unwanted items like gifts or flowers.

·Repeatedly calls you and hangs up, or does not respond when you answer.

·Uses social media to keep tabs on you.

·Calls your employer

·Waits at places where you are known to hang out.

·Uses other people to gain information about you.

·Damages your property such as: your car, or home.

Make sure to save your call logs, text messages, emails, DM’s etc. Even if you need to take a screenshot of something to save as evidence. If you are out and you see the individual make sure to make a note of the place,time and dates. Also jot down names and contact information of any witnesses.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race,ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors.

Women and men can be victims of domestic violence.

·1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.

·Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults in the U.S.A.

·Domestic Violence is likely to take place between 6pm and 6am.

·More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home.

·At least ⅓ of families using New York City’s family shelter system are homeless due to domestic violence.

·Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

·Women ages 18 to 34 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.

·More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.

·1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year.

·Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.

MOST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INCIDENTS ARE NEVER REPORTED.

·Every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is assaulted or beaten.

·On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

·1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of (some form of) physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

·1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

·1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.

·On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

·The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

·Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.

·Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.

·19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.

·Domestic violence is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.

·Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

These stats are only of those incidents that have been reported. Can you imagine what the numbers must really be like? Take me for example, I never called the police when an incident happened, even after I left. Out of pure fear of what he may possibly do to me. Imagine how men must feel. To report that they are being abused (even if it’s not the physical aspect of it).

What people who have never been in a domestic violence relationship fail to realize is that just walking away is so much easier said than done. It’s not so easy to just break up and walk away!

Fear: He or She may be afraid of what may happen if they leave. They may have been threatened or been told something would happen to their child or a loved one.

Believing Abuse is Normal: They may not know what a healthy relationship looks like. They could have grown-up in an abusive environment.

Fear of Being Outed: If they are in a same-sex relationship and have not come out, their partner may use it against them, using it as blackmail so they don’t leave.

Embarrassment: It can be hard for someone to admit that they are being abused. They may feel that it is their fault, and worry that friends and family will judge them.

Low Self-esteem: He or She may constantly get put down by their partner, and may even be blamed for the abusive behavior. It is very easy for them to believe these statements and think that it is their fault.

Love: Some may stay in the relationship hoping that their partner will change. Hoping that things will go back to the way they once were. Some just want the abuse to stop, not the relationship on a whole.

Nowhere to Go: Some may think that even if there were a way to leave, that they do not have a place to go or anyone to turn to. What some fail to realize is that the abuser isolates the victim. They keep them away from their friends and family. Leaving the victim feeling helpless.

So I am sure you’re all wondering; “What can I do to help?”

The most important thing someone can do is be supportive and listen. Do not judge!! Please know and have some understanding that an abusive relationship is not easy to just walk away from. Assure them that there are options available. For instance the websites that are listed in this blog. You could even research avenues for them in their area and pass the info on to them.

If you have any questions please feel free to go on to my contact page and send me an email. I will do whatever I can to help.

Is This Abuse? – www.loveisrespect.org. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015, from http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/

Loveisrespect.org gives detailed information on what domestic violence is, and the different forms of domestic violence abuse. They strive to educate the youth to help prevent and end abusive relationships. The website has an ample amount of information on the different types of abuse as well as ways to get help and to help others.

Safe Horizon :: Moving victims of violence from crisis to confidence. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015, from http://www.safehorizon.org

Safe Horizon is a website which has a lot of statistical and factual information, and resources on how to get help. Their mission is to “provide support, prevent violence, child abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking to move from crisis to confidence.”

Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015, from http://www.ncadv.org/learn/statistics

ncadv.org is dedicated in giving victims and survivors of domestic violence a voice. They strive in bringing awareness to the public by offering programs and education to increase understanding of the impact that domestic violence has.

Photo credit: “Psychology Today.” : Health, Help, Happiness Find a Therapist. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. .