Maughon: Domestic Violence and Health

Domestic Violence is a harsh reality. It happens in places one would never suspect and to people who seems normal.

Domestic violence is when an intimate partner uses words, intimidations, physical violence, finances and control to cause harm to their partner. A person’s health is impacted by these issues. The victims become stressed, worried and are skeptical about their lives and family’s future. They lose sleep, become withdrawn and depressed. These factors cause a person to lose things that are important to staying healthy.

Many health problems, including mental issues, arise when a person is not getting enough to eat, enough sleep, not able to take a bath daily because they are afraid and not having friendships outside of their intimate partner to listen and support them. Men, women and children who are victims of domestic violence are affected equally when it comes to their health and domestic violence.

In 2014, 1,306 Georgians committed suicide and 20 percent of those deaths were due to intimate partner domestic violence. Suicide is the 11th. cause of death in Georgia. Last year there was one death reported in Newton County where domestic violence was the cause. This is one death to many. Domestic violence can be prevented and with the right educational knowledge it can be stopped. Being well informed is the first step.

There are nine ways to tell if a relationship is healthy.

The first way is a person is able to be themselves. They can express themselves, be different and enjoy being different and their partner appreciates who they are.

The second way to have a healthy relationship is being free to do things by themselves, be with other friends, and be with family.

The third way to have a healthy relationship listening to what the other has to say. The person’s partner shows interest, looks at them, accepts them, and makes the other person feel safe.

The fourth way to have a healthy relationship is to agree to disagree. Discuss the issue at hand taking turns to voice an opinion.

The fifth way to have a healthy relationship is to respect boundaries. No means no to anything. There is no control over one person.

The sixth way to have a healthy relationship is to be honest. Trust has to be earned and each person is responsible for their own actions.

The seventh way to have a healthy relationship is to have fun. Relax and enjoy each other’s company.

The eighth way to have a healthy relationship is using language that lifts each other up. Examples are encouragement, notice, respect, and appreciation.

The ninth and last way to have a healthy relationship is taking it slow. Make sure to get to know the person. Find out what each one has in common with the other.

When these nine signs are present in a relationship that relationship will endure the test of time. When a person is happy, thriving and things are going the way they should then the person is healthy. They will want to take care of themselves. They get up and go to work, play, and exercise. Stay healthy and be aware of all relationships.

Project ReNeWal is a non-profit domestic violence intervention program dedicated to helping men, women, and child that are victims of domestic violence. Project ReNeWal’s assigned service area covers three counties. These counties are Rockdale, Newton, and Walton.  In 2016, Project ReNeWal provided 41,000 services to 3,590 clients. Some services provided include shelter, counseling, and assistance TPO’s. If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence reach out to us and we will help in any way, we can. The 24/7 crisis line number is 770-860-1666.   

Kim Maughon has been Child advocate at Project ReNeWal Domestic Violence Intervention Program for one year. She is currently taking Bachelor degree classes and will earn a BA in Psychology in the spring of 2018. She worked at Covington Kiddie College as a preschool teacher for 21 years.