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October is dedicated to domestic abuse awareness

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. In Louisiana and across the country, people are gathering for walks, rallies and lectures, wearing the purple ribbons that represent the cause. Often, these events culminate in a candlelight vigil where victims of deadly abuse are remembered, and promises are made to work even harder to prevent future tragedies.

Some people who survived a period of domestic abuse looked back at the beginnings of their relationships and found similarities and patterns that are now seen as early indications that the relationship may turn violent. What may seem at first like the behavior of a devoted partner may actually be signs of a controlling and potentially violent personality. For example, a person may be quick to suggest marriage or living together, or insist on spending every spare moment together.

Soon those romantic suggestions may become commands, and an abuser may turn violent if his or her partner does not comply. The potential abuser may begin to cut off the victim's communication with family or friends and display irrational jealousy. This may include checking in with the victim throughout the day and insisting on knowing his or her whereabouts at every minute. Other signs may include criticizing or insulting the victim and blaming other people for failed relationships and past instances of violence.

Louisiana consistently ranks in the top 10 of states with high rates of domestic violence and homicide by abusive spouses. Knowing the signs is the first step a person takes to breaking free from the abuse. It is also important to remain in contact with loved ones and stay healthy in mind and body. Having an attorney is another valuable asset. A dedicated attorney will use every resource to ensure a victim's protection and safety.

Source: lcadv.org, "Red Flags of Abuse", Accessed on Oct. 10, 2016

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