Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association Shares Warning Signs and Offers Resources During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

PROVIDENCE — As part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, recognized nationwide each October, the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association (RIPCA) wishes to share warning signs, resources and services for those who may be experiencing domestic violence.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million people in the United States experience physical abuse by a partner every year. On average, one in three women and one in four men experience some form of physical violence committed by an intimate partner.

Know the Signs

RIPCA wishes to share the following domestic violence warning signs and common characteristics of an abusive partner provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • An abusive partner frequently denies or attempts to minimize the seriousness of violence and its impact on the victim.
  • An abusive individual objectifies the victim, viewing that person as property or a sexual object.
  • An abusive partner has low self-esteem.
  • An abusive partner may blame their violence on stress, alcohol or other external factors.
  • An abusive partner may be perceived as friendly and kind by others, as that individual may be amicable and pleasant in between abusive events.
  • Red flags include:
    • Extreme jealousy
    • Possessive behavior
    • Unpredictability
    • Short, angry temper
    • Cruelty to animals
    • Verbal abuse
    • Extremely controlling actions
    • Non-consensual sex
    • Ignoring agreed upon birth control or sabotaging birth control
    • Blaming the victim for abuse
    • Preventing the victim from going to work or school
    • Financial control
    • Abuse of other people and/or animals
    • Accusations that the victim is flirting with others
    • Control of the victim’s apparel and actions
    • Demeaning the victim, privately or publicly, as well as embarrassing that person in front of others
    • Harassing the victim at his or her workplace

Recognize When Children Need Help 

According to the Mayo Clinic, children who are survivors of abuse can often feel guilty, ashamed or confused, and may be afraid to disclose the abuse — especially when their abuser is a parent, other relative or friend. The signs a child is a victim of abuse include:

  • Withdrawal from friends or usual activities
  • Changes in behavior — such as aggression, anger, hostility or hyperactivity — or changes in school performance
  • Depression, anxiety or unusual fears or a sudden loss of self-confidence
  • An apparent lack of supervision
  • Frequent absences from school
  • Reluctance to leave school activities, as if he or she doesn’t want to go home
  • Attempts at running away
  • Rebellious or defiant behavior
  • Self-harm or attempts at suicide
  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, fractures or burns
  • Injuries that don’t match the given explanation

Statewide and National Resources

  • In an emergency, ALWAYS call 911.
  • For statewide information on domestic violence resources courtesy the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office, click here. The 24-hour helpline can be reached at 1-800-494-8100.
  • The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the domestic violence agencies in Rhode Island. The organization provides leadership to its member agencies, strives to create justice for victims, and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island. RICADV’s network of member agencies provides comprehensive emergency and support services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking. Member agency services include 24-hour hotline support, emergency shelter, support groups, counseling, and assistance with the legal system. To learn more, click here.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224. If you’re unable to speak safely, you can chat online, or text START to 88788. Additional crisis organizations and helplines can be found by clicking here.
  • Learn about safety plans here, and you can find an interactive guide to safety planning here. A safety plan is a personalized plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave or after you leave. 
  • The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline is dedicated to teens age 13-18 who may be experiencing dating abuse. For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call 1-866-331-9474, text LOVEIS to 22522 or chat online.
Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association Shares Warning Signs and Offers Resources During Domestic Violence Awareness Month