Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Domestic abuse has warning signs

By Eve Barnofsky

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — He controlled everything about her, how to dress, who to hang out

with and how to act. Keryn Ketterer did not want to admit it at the time but her boyfriend was

becoming abusive.

“I know most people know the obvious signs, and I guess I did too. I just didn't want to

believe them.” Ketterer said.

He was older than Ketterer, she was 16 and he was 22 when they first meet. They meet

through a mutual friend and were attracted to each other immediately.

Ketterer didn’t tell her parents because she knew that they would not approve so they

kept its secret. As they got more serious things started to change.

“He pressured me, made me insecure and basically broke me mentally.” Ketterer said.

According to the United States Department of Justice they define domestic violence as

“A pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain

power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual,

emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.

This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize,

coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.”

Domestic violence can affect one out of four women with in their life time.

Sage Lewandowski was also in a abusive relationship for over two years. They were

inseparable at the beginning of the relationship but then things started to change.

“The closeness became suffocating for both of us and things such as common courtesy

and respect weren't a part of our relationship anymore.” Lewandowski said.

He controlled her, she was not allowed to see her friends or family because he didn't want

her to.

“No hurtful words were spared on his end, he took every opportunity to physically

overpower me. When it came to money he had no respect for what I had earned, he just took it.

He said he would pay me back, but I never saw any of that money again.” Lewandowski said.

Jane Colquhoun, is a private practice therapist. Colquhoun specializes in helping patients

deal with past traumas of abuse.

Colquhoun uses a special therapy technique called, eye movement desensitization and

reprocessing, or EMDR. It is a fairly new technique, it is a bilateral therapy, which is the

stimulation and coordination of the right and left body through eye movement. It helps patients

deal with past traumas.

“The body has memory and when a traumatic event happens the body still remembers it,

so the approach is revolved around the mind and body to resolving the trauma.” Colquhoun said.

Working with people who have been abused in the past Colquhoun feels that EMDR has

been very helpful in working with people.

“Often with the EMDR work it’s about letting yourself sit with what happened and kind

of facing it. You begin to realize the true messages, that you didn't do anything thing wrong, that

there was something wrong with your abuser and not you.” Colquhoun said.

Amaris Amos, a nurse who has dealt with domestic violence before, has dealt with

victims before they get to the stage of therapy.

“Once I saw a lady who had a dislocated shoulder, but she also had bruises on her arms

and neck. She said she had fell down the stairs but the bruises looked over a week old and the

shoulder injury was from that day.” Amos said.

Amos says as a nurse the tell tale signs of abuse is multiply injuries that are recent and

old. Sometimes there aren't physical injuries. Which Amos says is harder to know if they are

being abused because they have to tell you personally.

“The best thing to is to listen and watch closely to how he or she acts when you ask

certain questions. Sometimes patients are nervous, or if their partner is there, they are jumpy

around them.” Amos said.

If Amos is to find out that they are being abused she is to not leave them alone and to

perform a physical consult.

In the cases of adults she is to ask if they want to press charges but in the case for

children she is to immediately to contact the police to start an investigation.

“If someone asked me to identify the red flags of an abusive relationship, I would tell

them that they are the lack of basic respect by your partner, more than one physical altercation

and the constant draining of your resources and support.” Lewandowski said.

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