If you think that violence is only a product of bad neighborhoods and alcoholism or drug use – you might be wrong.

If you think that only stupid married women get stuck in abusive relationships – you might be wrong again.

If you think it can’t happen to you – you might be very wrong.

Every woman should educate herself on domestic violence. Whether you think it will ever personally affect you, you owe yourself a little education on the subject. There are a few good books/movies on the Books and Movies page. There are many, many blogs on the subject.

No one wants to believe that someone they love and want to be with will batter them. We don’t go into relationships with that expectation. But it happens. It could happen to you, or your daughter, or your sister. Knowing a little something on the subject could make a difference in your level of commitment and your “forever” decisions.

There are some warning signs. Unfortunately they usually pop up just as the ink on whatever document that bonds you to him is drying. How can you know what to look for? He might say something like:

I don’t want you to wear that (fill in the bank), it makes you look like a (fill in the expletive) slut.

Why were you gone so long? Who did you talk to? Did you meet someone? Don’t lie to me. I’ll know.

I don’t like your friend (fill in the blank). I don’t want you to see her any more.

I don’t like that your job requires you to (fill in the blank), I don’t want you to work there anymore.

Any sign of “over the top” jealousy is a big warning. Any effort to control you, whether it is what you wear, the friends you see, where you go, or what you do when you get there, is not good. If you pick up any of these warning signs, please, please don’t talk yourself into believing it is just some sweet protective instinct. Please, don’t make that mistake. Domestic Violence begins with the effort to control you. It follows many winding roads and alleys: isolating you from your family and loved ones, verbal abuse, mental attacks on your self-confidence, hitting, pinching, kicking, preventing you from sleeping or eating. Once the violence starts, it never stops for long. Don’t believe that he can change back into that nice guy you met. The bad guy is who he truly is. Domestic Violence leads to Domestic Homicide. Practice some self-love and get the heck out of Dodge.