Domestic Violence Awareness Month: What is Gaslighting?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is an annual opportunity to highlight information and resources about domestic violence. Unfortunately, domestic violence continues to be a common experience. And it’s more difficult for survivors to get help when abusive dynamics are unknown or taboo to talk about. Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one person to maintain power and control over another person in an intimate or family relationship. Physical violence may be one of these behaviors, but abusive behaviors can also include financial, sexual, or emotional abuse. Survivors of domestic violence often find emotional abuse to be especially painful. One type of emotional abuse is called gaslighting. You may have heard this word before, but what does it mean? What is gaslighting?  The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1938 play (and 1944 movie) called “Gas Light” where a husband tries to make his wife think she is going crazy. He dims the lights around the house and denies the lights are flickering, hides objects and accuses her of misplacing them, and tries to convince her she can’t trust her own memories. While gas lamps aren’t a feature of most houses anymore, abusive partners often use tactics like these to make their partners doubt themselves. Gaslighting behaviors might look like:  Claiming to forget or denying that something [...]

2022-10-17T11:00:55-04:00October 17th, 2022|Domestic Violence|

Domestic Violence: Healing the Psychological Wounds

You notice that a friend winces when they make a normal movement. Or you see bruises more than a few times and hear excuses that just don’t ring true: “I fell down the steps” or “I bumped into something.” These are some of the visible signs of domestic violence. Just as damaging, but harder to detect, is the psychological harm. About every 20 seconds in the United States, women, children, and men suffer the effects of domestic violence – both physical and emotional.  Physical violence often starts with emotional abuse, which is used to frighten, control, or isolate the victim. Is emotional abuse the same as domestic violence? Most experts agree that it is a deceptive form that wears down the victim’s self-worth, confidence, and mental and emotional strength.  Signs of emotional abuse  How do you know if you or someone you know is being emotionally abused?  The perpetrator might embarrass the victim publicly, keep them from friends or family, or take control of their possessions, such as their phone. Verbal abuse, such as belittling the person’s accomplishments and using demeaning language, are typical. Other signs include extreme jealousy or threatening to hurt him/herself or the victim. Gaslighting is another form of emotional abuse, which involves telling the victim they are too sensitive, are overreacting, or that their memory of [...]

2022-10-17T10:53:33-04:00October 10th, 2022|Domestic Violence|

How You Can Help Domestic Violence Victims

If you or someone you know needs support, contact the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 866-723-3014 (24/7/365). Call 911 in an emergency. Domestic violence supports are more important than ever. Because of COVID-19, home is more than home. Home is work, school, daycare, and more – all in one place. For domestic violence survivors, this isolation can be more than boring; it may be harmful. Isolation from friends and family is a common tactic used by abusive partners. They may also control cell phone usage, track internet searches, and listen in to phone calls. That is why safe and supportive contact with others is so important for survivors. We know that limiting contact with others lowers the spread of COVID-19. But without seeing friends and family in person, survivors may not have the support systems they need in order to reach out for help. So, aside from calling the hotline, how can you help while we weather the pandemic? Check on your people: Ask your friends and loved ones if they are ok. After you ask, stay quiet. Give your loved one time to talk. If you are worried about certain friends, ask them what mode of communication is safest for them. Let them know how to reach you if they ever need help. Instead of telling them what to do, ask what they need. Let them know about domestic violence resources available in Philadelphia. Post by Alexandra [...]

2021-10-14T16:34:15-04:00October 18th, 2021|Domestic Violence|

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Did you know that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month? When we think of February we often think of Valentine’s Day on February 14th . On this special day we might take the time to celebrate love by treating our partners to romantic dinners, showering them with gifts, and posting cute photos of each other on social media. With all the hearts, flowers and hope of love, it’s easy to forget that not every couple in these pictures are in healthy relationships. For teenagers in relationships, the chance of them being abused by their partner is very high. Nearly 1 in 11 female and approximately 1 in 15 male high school students report having experienced physical dating violence in the last year.* Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month reminds us that abuse in a relationship can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter the race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic background. As a parent or caregiver, you’re in the best position to help make a difference in your teen’s life. Here are some tips on ways you can help the teens in your life develop healthy dating relationships: Define a healthy relationship- Helping your teen understand what a healthy relationship is will help them set their own standards for dating. Discuss healthy relationship habits to [...]

2021-02-04T09:18:16-05:00February 3rd, 2021|Domestic Violence, Family & Youth|
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