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What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence (DV), also called Intimate Partner Violence, is a pattern of behavior used by an intimate partner in order to gain power and control over the other person.
DV can take many forms:
- Physical violence
- Sexual violence
- Emotional abuse
- Economic abuse
Who is Affected?
One in four women and one in seven men will be victims of DV during their lifetime. Recent studies show DV is just as common in same-sex relationships, if not more common. DV crosses all racial, economic and cultural barriers.
Domestic Violence and Health
DV has a profound effect on physical, mental and sexual health. Victims are more likely to suffer from a variety of illnesses and symptoms including:
- Body aches
- High blood pressure
- Stomach problems
- Sexually transmitted diseases/HIV
- Drug and alcohol abuse
Domestic Violence and Pregnancy
Contrary to what you might think, abuse sometimes begins or increases during pregnancy and after delivery. Abuse during pregnancy can lead to many medical problems and can endanger the lives of both the mother and the growing baby. If you are pregnant or have a newborn, please reach out for help. You and your baby deserve to be safe.
Why Talk to your Healthcare Provider?
Letting your healthcare provider know about DV is important. At GBMC, we care about your overall health and understand the important role DV plays in achieving optimal wellness. We have various resources and staff members available to help victims of DV 24 hours a day.
What Can I Do Today?
- Tell a neighbor, family member or friend what is going on
- Choose a secret word to signal that something is wrong
- Pack a bag, including money
- Keep a record of all incidents
- Hide a spare key outside
- Keep copies of important documents in a safe, private place, including:
-Children's birth certificates
-Important telephone numbers
Crisis Hotline: 410-889-RUTH (7884)
Legal Clinic: 410-554-8463
Adelante Familia: 410-732-2176
Crisis Helpline: 443-279-0379