MSH-TA also offers three brochures to help inform and educate people about domestic violence. “Domestic Violence” and “Abusive Relationships” gives facts about battering for women. “Respectful Relationships” offers information about battering for men. These brochures are easily duplicated and customized so that any organization addressing violence against women can use them in its own program. They can be changed to be specific to your program and community.
The work of addressing domestic violence involves the on-going process of education. In each community someone must lead the effort to speak out against the violence women experience, acknowledge the existence of domestic violence in the community, and get the community to break the silence. In order to address domestic violence, it is important for people to understand the problem and know how it impacts their lives.
The Abusive Relationships brochure is designed to give women an overview of abusive behaviors and potential risks for her and her children. It offers examples of abuse women experience in battering relationships, including the batterer breaking or smashing things, making threats or intimidating gestures, pushing, shoving, choking, name calling and insults. This brochure also gives women who are in violent relationships quick assessment points to determine their risk of increasing danger, listing behaviors that show the violence is escalating: an increase in the frequency and severity of the violence, needing more outside help from places like the courts, police, or advocacy programs; the batterer’s obsession or preoccupation with her activities.
These assessment points are meant to provide women with some warning signs, but makes the point that no assessment can predict the potential for increased violence or murder–a woman who is experiencing the violence is the best judge of her situation.
Many women have expressed concern over the impact domestic violence may have on their children (in many cases their fear for their children is the deciding factor in seeking help) and this brochure includes a list of the effects of violence on children. These range from the batterer’s use of the children as tools for manipulation and control, to the behavioral changes children in violent homes experience: frequent illnesses, anxiety, bedwetting, becoming violent themselves and having troubles in school.
It can be difficult for women in battering relationships to identify the relationship as violent. The brochure for women is intended to help them look at some of what they may be experiencing in their relationships in order to identify abusive and controlling behaviors. Having the local program’s contact information listed on the brochure will provide women with someone to contact if they feel they need more information or assistance.
As common as it is for women to fail to see the violence in their relationships as battering, it is even more common for men not to recognize their own behavior as violent or abusive. This is the reason we have created the third brochure, Respectful Relationships, which is geared toward men and their relationships.
Click to download Abusive Relationships