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Spotting signs of domestic violence

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 9:18 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Its time dedicated to supporting survivors and educating the community.

Last year, the country saw a spike in domestic violence cases. Experts said it’s likely because of the financial strain caused by the pandemic.

According to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, they got more than 200 reports of domestic violence in September alone. But they said that’s a lower number than they had seen last year.

Deputies are reminding everyone this is a real issue that could be deadly. It’s a crime often hidden behind closed doors, but there are a few things you can look out for that could just save someone’s life.

Even a harmless conversation can escalate.

“It may be a simple verbal dispute, and it may go up to a shove or push, then it may go up to bruising or marks or even strangulation is a big one,” Bay County Sheriff’s Corporal Amy Burnette said.

Burnette said there are a few red signs you can spot from the outside looking in.

“Power control is what these relationships drive on and go on. So, isolating the victim from their friends and family is huge,” Burnette said.

Finances can also take a toll on a couple. For the abuser, it’s all about control.

“They have to get permission if they can go buy a dress or the aggressor won’t let them work,” Burnette said. “It goes into, well why are you buying this? Or why are you doing that? You can’t leave me because you have no way to support yourself.”

It’s a fight the victim often doesn’t win.

“Well, I wouldn’t have hit you if you wouldn’t have done this. Or I wouldn’t get so angry if you did this,” Burnette said. “The victims always feel like they’re walking on eggshells and that’s a big red flag.”

So, if you see something, say something. You can reach out to your local law enforcement or the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

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