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  • Domestic and Sexual Violence Counseling

    In the US, nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of abuse. Abuse can occur in heterosexual as well as same sex relationships; individuals from all parts of our society can be impacted. Survivors often have difficulty escaping their situation and are confronted with barriers to independence. Affordable housing, reliable childcare, access to education and training, sufficient income and psychological support may be hard to come by.

    It is not just the adults who suffer from the effects of domestic violence. Children who witness people they love being abused may experience a lifetime of mental and emotional trauma. Often they repeat the pattern in their own relationships.  This can lead to what is called intergenerational trauma.

    “Never forget that walking away from something unhealthy is brave even if you stumble a little on your way out the door.” ― Unknown 

    Coercive control is the “umbrella” under which abuse occurs. Domestic violence (also referred to as intimate partner violence or IPV, dating abuse, or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. The individual who is coercive has one goal- to ensure complete control over another human being.  This can be done in a variety of ways- many of which you may have experienced.

    These include:

    • Isolating them from friends and family
    • Monitoring their use of email, social media and tracking their whereabouts
    • Deciding what they can wear, even going to extent of purchasing the items
    • Mocking, ridiculing, and saying hurtful things so that their sense of self-worth is destroyed
    • Forcing them to engage in sexual activity when they say no, or performing sexual acts that are uncomfortable
    • Enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanize the person
    • Taking over all finances, not allowing them to have a job, or if working, to turn over their paycheck
    • Threatening to hurt their child or other loved one unless they comply with everything the abuser wants
    • Inflicting bodily harm

    Sexual violence often occurs as part of domestic violence, but it can also happen outside of it. Often it is a friend or acquaintance who is the initiator of the assault. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization every 68 seconds another American is sexually assaulted- 1 out of 6 women and 1 out of 33 men have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.

    How I can help

    As an experienced sexual and domestic violence clinician, I will believe you- even when others may not. Abuse is not always visible to others- but the pain is real and the long term effects can be devastating.

    I will provide you with a safe space to process what has happened to you and help you move forward. And, if needed, I can refer you to specialized resources and supports to assist you on your healing journey.

    The Power and Control Wheel

    Where have you experienced abuse?