Toll of Abuse-001

An Abuse, Rape, Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection (AARDVARC) describes a number of warning signs for friends, family members, and coworkers for recognizing people who may be victims of intimate partner abuse. Specifically, teens, men, or women who are often absent from school or work, have numerous injuries they try to explain away, low self-esteem, show a change in their personality, fear of conflicts, passive-aggressive behavior, or demonstrate stress-related physical symptoms (for example, headaches, stomach upset, sleep problems, or skin rashes) may be experiencing abuse in their relationship.

In addition to suffering from physical injuries, victims of Intimate Partner Violence tend to also suffer from emotional harm. Survivors may have trauma symptoms that include flashbacks, panic attacks, and trouble sleeping, low self-esteem and difficulty trusting others.  The anger and stress that survivors feel may lead to eating disorders, depression, and thoughts of suicide.

Annual U.S. medical costs attributable to domestic violence, including years-old assaults that still cause health problems, range from $25 billion to $59 billion, according to a 2008 study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of the damage is from old physical injuries, some from the chronic stress of living in terror for too long.

National and Local Resources

CDC Facebook Page on Violence Prevention www.facebook.com/vetoviolence

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-3224 TTY, or www.ndvh.org National Coalition against Domestic Violence www.ncadv.org

National Sexual Violence Resource Center www.nsvrc.org Futures without Violence www.futureswithoutviolence.org

D.C. – The House of Ruth http://www.houseofruth.org/

Baltimore / Towson – Turnaround, Inc.  http://www.turnaroundinc.org/