Most of us have an image in our head of what domestic violence looks like.
Maybe it's the poor, middle-aged man who watches T.V. with a beer in his hand and beats his wife every night. Or maybe It's a celebrity couple that's been in the news. Or maybe just a conversation you overheard at work or a restaurant that gave you this nagging feeling in your belly as the voice in your head said, "Something's not quite right here."
Domestic violence is all around us. It happens to people we wouldn't expect. In places we wouldn't imagine. In ways we never considered. Sometimes, it even continues after the victim has left the abusive relationship.
The Purple Phoenix Foundation seeks to raise awareness about--and end--all forms of domestic violence in partnership with existing organizations. My unique story is a testament to how insidious domestic violence can be and to the difficulty many victims face when they attempt to speak out.
According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence, domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence) is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional or psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically.