If you are one of the 40%, know that you are strong, loved, and deserve to be happy. 

Here is a list of signs of domestic violence, and here is a more in-depth article. Even if you think you are in a healthy relationship, make sure to read the articles to know of warning signs. Usually, the offenses start small and then escalate. However, what can start as an easy to dismiss offense can lead to extreme violence over time. No matter the gender, anyone can experience domestic abuse. Nor is domestic abuse limited to just physical violence. Emotional abuse is just as damaging. 

The pandemic has worsened domestic abuse. More individuals are at home, trapped with the abuser. People are leaving their homes now because of the vaccine, but abusers are still trying to have as much control as possible. Just because people are getting out more does not mean that we shouldn’t assume the domestic violence rates went back to what they were prior to the pandemic. Nor should we tolerate the rate of abuse that was happening before. 

As a community member, I urge you to call a domestic violence program near you to see how you can volunteer or donate to their cause. 

Links to resources available in West Virginia:

A letter from me to you:

Dear Reader,

If you are experiencing abuse at home, please know that you don’t deserve the pain that you are in. You should be treated with respect, kindness, and love. Reaching out can be terrifying, but it is a necessary step to the path of recovery and feeling safe again. If you have family or friends to reach out too, please take the opportunity to do so. Or check out the organizations in your community available to help you. 

You deserve to be happy and feel safe to be you unconditionally. 

I believe in you.

With love,