Many studies done on the prevalence of domestic violence estimate that approximately 20-30% of all women and 10-15% of men experience some form of domestic violence in their lives. Power and control are well-researched components of domestic violence. Often the perpetrator slowly isolates the victim over time from friends and family to have less resistance in exerting such power and control over the victim. The isolation may not be obvious at first but eventually creates enough distance between the victim and the victimâ€™s friends and family such that the victim finds it difficult to feel safe and reach out for help. This isolation also makes it difficult for others to recognize domestic violence when it occurs. Much of the violence escalates slowly over time which, combined with the enhanced isolation from friends and family, makes escaping the situation very difficult and dangerous.
Often, even once a domestic violence victim wants to escape a violent relationship, they do not know how to go about actually doing so. Basic needs become difficult to meet â€“ communication is often monitored, access to money or a vehicle can be restricted, and any children involved must be cared for and made safe. The Domestic Violence Resource Center website (http://www.dvrc-or.org/) contains helpful information for anyone experiencing domestic violence. The site includes tips on how to make a safety plan for various situations and practical tips for escaping a violent relationship. You can find the site and explore more here: http://www.dvrc-or.org/safety-planning/
If you are experiencing domestic violence, your best option is to reach out to loved ones. Your greatest chance of success will come if you do not isolate yourself. People will help you.
For other helpful programs and assistance, here is a great list of resources in and around the Portland area for crisis centers, shelters, and youth services: http://www.dvrc-or.org/community-resources/ If you need assistance with a restraining order to protect you or your loved ones against future violence, please call our office for a consultation.