Defining Domestic Violence:
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.1 Domestic violence does not discriminate and can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, nationality, religion, or social status. In the state of Florida, one in three (1:3) women and one in four (1:4) men have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner.2
Although physical abuse is often times, the most recognizable form of domestic violence, it is important to note that abuse does not always present itself in the form of physical violence, and in many cases, the emotional and psychological abuse experienced can be just as damaging to victims. Domestic violence can vary from relationship to relationship; some signs of an abusive relationship include, but are certainly not limited to:3
- Giving an allowance and monitoring how it is spent
- Placing your paycheck in their bank account and denying access to it
- Using funds from children’s savings accounts without your permission
- Forcing pregnancy and not supporting your decision about when or if you want to have a child
- Steals or insists on being given your passwords
- Uses any kind of technology (such as spyware or GPS in a car or on a phone) to monitor you
- Forcing you to dress in a sexual way
- Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
- Punishing you by withholding affection
- Preventing you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
- Pulling your hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking you
Problem Gambling: Impacts on the Family:
Problem gambling – also known as the Hidden Addiction – is not frequently identified when family members present for help or seek refuge from an abusive situation. The impact of disordered gambling on those closest to the gambler is real and severe, both emotionally and financially. Loved ones of problem gamblers often suffer a range of effects from the deprivation of basic needs, to physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. Relationships that are full of conflict, especially those where conflicts occur around finances, frequently become violent. It is also possible that victims of abuse and neglect may become problem gamblers themselves, turning to gambling as a way to “escape” from the stress and fear that permeates their relationship.
Additionally, children who are impacted by problem gambling are more likely than their peers to suffer from emotional issues such as anxiety and depression, abuse alcohol or other drugs, develop gambling problems of their own, and even experience suicidal ideation.
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) has developed a program designed to raise awareness of the negative impacts problem gambling can have on loved ones: Problem Gambling: Impact on the Family.
Problem Gambling is treatable for those who seek help. Proper assessment and referral are key components to a family’s ability to become a healthy functioning unit. The FCCG’s 24/7, free, confidential and multilingual HelpLine, 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848), provides gamblers, their loved ones, and professionals with the help they need.