Myths About Domestic Violence

By: Sabrina Wu
By: Sabrina Wu

Eighteen cases of domestic abuse were reported in Marathon County the week of Jan. 17 and Jan. 24.

Todd Werner, who works with those who admit they're abusers, says many think domestic abuse happens because people cannot control their own anger. He says that's not the case, however.

"It's not about anger, because these people can control their anger in so many different ways," Werner, who works for the Family Resource Center in Wausau, said. "They're not displaying their anger, being abusive to all the other people in their lives."

In fact, Werner says abuse is a form of controlling others. Judy Brodjeski, who works with survivors of domestic violence at the Women's Community, says controlling behavior can serve as a warning sign that someone has a tendency to be abusive.

"The jealousy that at first seems to be very romantic, the controlling things." Brodjeski gives as examples, "he doesn't like what you wear. He doesn't want you to see that friend."

It can be hard for victims to leave an unhealthy relationship, especially if the abuse has developed over a long period of time. Others mistakenly blame themselves, hoping that they can stop the violence by changing their own behavior.

The experts who talked to News Channel Seven say the emotional abuse victims suffer, leaves wounds that take much longer to heal than the ones left by physical abuse.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, there are agencies out there that can help. One is the Women's Community in Wausau. The organization can be reached, toll-free at (888) 665-1234.

And for people who think they might have a problem of being abusive or violent towards others, they can find out confidentially, without the threat of being turned in to law enforcement. In the Wausau area, the Family Resource Center offers counseling. It can be reached at (715) 845-6747. In Tomahawk, it can be reached at (715) 453-9969.

Women are not the only victims of domestic violence.

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