Take action to stop domestic violence The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For many families this topic remains silent, yet it is diverse and continues to affect the lives of people. Symptoms of abuse - The person you are with: 1. Prohibits you from attending school and / or work. 2. Opposes camaraderie with family and friends. 3. Criticizes, yells, swears, uses angry gestures and coercion, etc. when speaking with you. 4. Controls you financially and demands a detailed explanation of what and where money is spent. 5. Humiliates you in front of other people. 6. Destroys your personal property items or your sentimental objects of value. 7. Hits, punches, kick, pulls hair, bites, pushes with their body into your body causing pain or harm, and / or rapes you. 8. Threatens to harm you, the children, or a member or members of your family. 9. Threatens to harm you with a weapon. If this happens or is happening, seek the assistance of local agencies that are there to help you. Call 911. A victim is not always able to reach a phone. Those who witness an incident should make that 911 call. When the police arrive, tell the police what you have heard and / or seen. The victim should follow through with reporting the incident against the abuser, but many times are afraid to. Do not hesitate to seek medical assistance, document and report the incident. If you are unable to seek refuge with a family member of friend, call the nearest women's shelter. Many times the person abused allows the cycle of violence to continue because the person believes that the abuse won't continue. This is because many times: 1. The abuser apologizes. 2. The abuser blames self for the incident that has taken place. 3. The abuser promises to change. 4. The abuser takes you to dinner, sends you flowers, purchases gifts, and asks you to forgive them. Counseling may help, but must be sought before actual physical abuse starts.