Camille never considered her relationship abusive until the morning she called LifeWire’s helpline. Her boyfriend never hit or threatened her, but he liked to be in control. He hated when she got home late from work. He told her what she could wear, who she could see, and how she could spend money.
All of her concerns came to mind when Camille heard Becky, a domestic violence survivor, share her story on New Day Northwest. After listening to Becky, Camille finally had the words to describe what was happening in her relationship: emotional abuse, financial abuse, and domestic violence. Supported with that knowledge, Camille reached out to LifeWire for help.
Last October, the #MeToo movement captured the internet’s attention. From actresses to politicians and domestic laborers to college students, people began sharing their personal experiences with sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Through their brave actions, survivors have opened the door to change. Powerful individuals are losing jobs, companies are revising harassment policies, and survivors like Camille are learning where they can get help.
Despite these gains, the private nature of these attacks—whether they take place in offices, on campus, or in the home—continues to isolate survivors and keep them from reporting abuse. Survivors of domestic violence are particularly reluctant to speak out. Often they’re still co-parenting or in an intimate relationship with their abuser, and many fear violence or retaliation if they leave. Too often, they also face victim-blaming from family, friends, the police, and the legal system.
How to help
There are things we can do to help more DV survivors benefit from the power of the #MeToo movement.
- Listen, believe, and respond to survivors with compassion.
- Encourage survivors who feel safe to share their stories.
- Educate yourself others about domestic violence.
- Offer to call LifeWire’s 24-Helpline at 1-800-827-8840 for a friend or family member to learn what resources are available.