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October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It's easy to identify an abusive relationship when someone gets slapped, poked, or beaten. But what are the red flags indicating that someone is likely to end up in that situation? KSMU's Shannon Bowers spoke with the director of Harmony House and found the warning signs begin quickly, with the relationship getting too serious, too fast.
So far this year, there have been over 2,000 cases of domestic violence reported to the Springfield Police Department. Before the physical violence starts, the abuse is usually psychological.
Angela Shelly is with the domestic abuse and advocacy center, Harmony House. She says often the abuser starts out by reeling in their victim.
“They make you think that he or she is the best person for you to be with. They shower you with gifts, and love, and compassion and then once they got you to the point where you’re in love with them, they decide to show their true colors,” said Shelly.
One red flag that a relationship might become abusive is when a person is pressured too soon to make a serious commitment like moving in together or marriage.
“Usually, they are very smooth talkers, very charming and so they get you talked into situations you didn’t think you would ever be in,”
An abusive partner may tell you not to see your friends and family or may even keep you in the house.
“He is isolating you but you don’t know that because he is telling you that it is going to be you and him and all you need is him. So paying attention to that verb-age about why he wants to be with you and what he loves about you are some very big things to watch out for,”
While physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are severe. On average it takes a victim anywhere from nine to a dozen times before they can leave the abuser for good.
For KSMU News, I’m Shannon Bowers
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, please call Harmony House’s toll free number, 417-864-SAFE.
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