A man who beats a woman will do it again. And again. And again.

There are no class, racial, ethnic, religious or economic boundaries when it comes to domestic violence. Anyone can be a victim. Anyone.

Sheriff Mike Tregre says, “Battering is about power and control and another person. It might start out as name calling, threats, displays of violence in the victim’s presence and possibly damage of property or pets. Then it might escalate to pushing, slapping and restraining. It may, and often, progresses even further to punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault, tripping and throwing. Finally, it may become life threatening by choking, breaking bones, or ultimately with the use of weapons.”

Every fifteen seconds the crime of battering occurs. Women are more often the victims of domestic violence than victims of burglary, mugging, or other physical crimes combined. Forty-two percent of murdered women are killed by their ultimate male partners.

Acts of domestic violence generally fall into one or more of the following categories:

physical battering from bruising to murder;
sexual abuse whereby the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her
abuser or take part in unwanted sexual acts; and
psychological battering by means of verbal abuse, harassment, excessive
possessiveness, isolating women from family and friends, depriving her of money
and destruction of personal property.

But, battering can take many other forms such as using children, using male privilege or even economic abuse. Whatever the means, its damage to its victims is destructive.

The Sheriff offers victims of domestic violence some sound information and advice:
Tell a trusted family member of friend about the abuse.
You do not deserve to be abused.
You cannot change someone who is abusive.
Staying in the relationship will not stop the abuse.
Over time, the abuse always gets worse.
If you stay, make a plan to keep yourself safe when the abuse happens again.
Call your local battered women’s program or Sheriff’s Office for further information and help.

Sheriff Tregre concludes, “Regardless of how domestic violence occurs, be it physical, sexual or psychological, the cycle of abuse runs deep and wide for its victims. It can destroy families. Breaking the cycle of abuse is not easy, but there are means for its victims to do so. And remember, abuse is not your fault.”