Helping Victims of Abuse

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

You may have wondered: what should I do when someone I know is suffering from domestic violence?

More than 4 in 5 Native American and Alaska Native women have experienced physical, emotional, or other forms of domestic violence.

Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, comes in a variety of forms including physical abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, and other areas. Both men and women can be victims of abuse.

Many state programs and organizations are making strides to address this issue, but we can all play a part when it comes to helping friends, family, and even strangers who are in abusive relationships.

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Although domestic violence can manifest in different ways, there are general warning signs, such as extreme jealousy, unexpected outbursts of anger, constant comparison with others, and more. Pay close attention to these signals, especially if they occur repeatedly and for an extended period.

Also, don’t overlook the value of support. It takes courage for a victim of abuse to tell another person about their experiences. If someone confides in you, listen without judgment and offer help where you can.

If you see red flags, it’s important to know what resources to share with the victim. The Potawatomi Citizen Nation (CPN) House of Hope and similar groups can help coordinate emergency shelter, rental and utility assistance, relocation, counseling or therapy. Save the number of a nearby domestic violence shelter to your phone for quick access.

Many victims of abuse feel a loss of control. You can put them back in control when you ask them what they need and how they would like you to help them.

Statistics show that it can take up to seven attempts for victims of domestic violence to leave their abuser and stay separated. Although it may be difficult to do, be a source of ongoing support even if the victim decides to stay with the abuser or come back to him.

It only takes one person to change a situation for the better. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please contact CPN House of Hope at or call (405) 275-3176.

Kayla Woody is a Domestic Violence Prevention Specialist at Citizen Potawatomi Nation House of Hope.

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About the Author

Author: Kayla WoodyE-mail: This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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