Domestic violence goes beyond physical abuse

Domestic violence goes beyond physical abuse

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

When it comes to domestic violence, physical assault is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but that is only one type of abuse.

It takes on several forms. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial and psychological. 

Steven Garcia, with Women's Protective Services in Lubbock, said before the abuse becomes physical, it is highly likely other forms of abuse have already been happening.

"We know that verbal and emotional abuse can be just a traumatic. Some of our victims will have PTSD levels the same as some of our war veterans," Garcia said.

Some warning signs to look out for are name-calling, jealousy, over-possessiveness and financial control.

"There's also lots of passive aggressive behavior that can be kind of red flags: demanding the pass code to your phone, not allowing you to talk to friends, not allowing you to see family," Garcia said.

In addition to post-traumatic stress, this abuse can result in long-term physical and mental health effects, like depression, trauma bonding, low self esteem and suicidal thoughts.

"On top of that, you've got the children that are either witnessing it, experiencing it or they can hear it," Garcia said. "They're aware of what's going on. That's not good for them ... to be terrorized in your own household, behind closed doors and without any kind of help or relief, that is something no one should ever have to go through."

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can reach out to Women's Protective Services at 806-747-6491. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. 

Garcia said it is important to end the cycle of abuse immediately.

"It doesn't get better. That is true," Garcia said. "It's always going to get worse, it's going to escalate."
 

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