*I personally have NOT been through any of the events described here, nor am I a domestic violence survivor. I write this with the help of sources and personal stories/experiences.*

When you are a victim of domestic violence, you don't want to tell anyone. You fear that no one would believe you.

When you are a victim of domestic violence, your guard only gets higher and higher. You are afraid of letting anyone in.

You are afraid to speak up, even when you always could. You are terrified of fighting back.

What if it hurts more this time?

You don't think you will survive. You don't think you will make it.

You will.

Survivors and current victims still have difficulty trying to get back out again, to feel normal. Once something horrible happens to them the first time, they are hesitant and super sensitive for a really long time, possibly for the rest of their lives.

Domestic violence is defined as a type of harm, and this harm can be physical or mental. Did you know that it does not have to be from someone who is in a relationship with you? Domestic violence accounts for anyone who lives with you in the same home, whether it is your boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, or sibling.

That is a common misconception we tend to find with DV. Abusers do not have to be dating you. You just have to live under the same roof with this person in order for it to qualify as domestic violence.

Most often, females are typically the main targets. Males are typically the suspects. 85% of domestic violence victims are women, and women are most often victimized by someone they know.

BUT men can be victimized, too. More than 1 in 4 men have experienced some type of domestic violence by an intimate partner or someone they familiarize themselves with.

These numbers do not lie, and it is so very unfortunate and sad. It keeps happening and happening.

Warning signs for domestic violence include controlling behaviors (not allowed to hang out with friends or family; money handler); threatening to hurt you, your children, or your pets; showing extreme jealousy of everything you do; constantly putting you down; preventing you from making your own decisions, etc.

All of it is scary, but one of the scariest things to get back into is loving someone again. As a survivor, you tend to feel like you will never find a good relationship again or be able to build your life back up. You are unable to trust or let your guard down. You think every relationship will end up in the gutter.

This is not always true. There is always hope, and there is help for that.

You are able to love again, and there are guidance options if you have any questions or fears.

Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence is a non-profit organization that helps victims AND survivors with any problems, issues, or fears they may currently have. This group provides a nationwide network of resources and support for survivors and families affected by domestic violence.

If you need guidance, help, or just someone to talk to, contact them! You can find all of their information on their website or Facebook page.

If you or someone you know is a victim/survivor of domestic violence and is still currently struggling for help, please call these phone numbers or go to these websites.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence: 1-855-287-1777

https://www.thehotline.org/ (The Hotline)

https://www.breakthesilencedv.org/ (Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence)

Any kind of help matters and you are not alone, ever.