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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Warning signs and how to get help

Darvin Nelson, News Editor

Many abusers can seem charming and fun at first, and won’t blatantly abuse at the beginning of a relationship. Though, there are some red flags that can occur within the early part of the relationship — some of which are strategies used to control the victim or make them feel dependent on the abuser.

UNF criminology and criminal justice professor Dr. Jennifer Wesely shared the following valuable information about the warning signs of domestic violence and how to find help with UNF news

Warnings include:

  • Jealousy if the victim talks to others or expresses warm feelings for anyone else
  • Possessiveness in which the abuser doesn’t want the victim to give attention to others
  • Random mood swings in which the abuser shows a dramatic shift from being angry and controlling to sweet and loving
  • Abusers may control how the victim acts, talks, dresses, looks, and even walks 
  • Abusers can have explosive anger impulses and have disproportionate anger about minor events — they may react by hitting walls and yelling names
  • Abusers may also gulit victims by saying that their life is nothing without them

The abuser uses these tactics of control and fear to avoid feelings of rejection and loss of control of the victim: threats of violence, humiliation, rape, physical abuse, control over finacial income, destruction of property, abuse of pets or children, and much more. Many victims describe other parts of domestic violence as more harmful than the physical side. 

Finding help can be dangerous, so having a plan is crucial.

UNF’s Victim Advocacy Program is a resource to any Osprey who has endured violence or threatened violence. The program helps with emotional support, evaluation of options, explanation of rights, and assistance with the criminal justice process. They will assure confidentiality to people who utilize the advocacy services.

The UNF community may use the 24-hour crisis intervention helpline by calling (904) 620-1010. 

National and local hotlines:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1(800) 799-SAFE
  • Florida Domestic Violence Hotline: 1(800) 500-1119
  • Micah’s Place (Fernandina Beach): (904) 225-9979
  • Betty Griffin Center (St. Augustine/St Johns County): (904) 824-1555
  • Quigley House (Clay County): (904) 284-0061


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Warning signs and how to get help