Domestic violence can affect anyone: Here’s what to watch for

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Gracie Fusco

Over the past two weekends, the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit has investigated two prominent domestic violence cases including a murder-suicide early Sunday. But local law enforcement take calls every day from victims who need help.

Leaders at local domestic violence shelter Turning Point said abusers usually start with specific red-flag behaviors.

“Controlling behavior, that’s the red flag and that is when you want to reach out and maybe try to get some help” said Turning Point Education and Outreach Coordinator Cadence Kupfner.

Other red flags include:

  • Attempts at isolating you from family and friends
  • Emotional abuse or gaslighting (emotional manipulation that can cause the victim to doubt their own lived experience)
  • Economic abuse
  • Coercion
  • Threats or intimidation

“We have to break the cycle,” said Turning Point Domestic Violence Services Director Belinda Jones.

Jones said it’s important to understand that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, no matter their age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Turning Point offers a 24/7 hotline for people in need and safe places and services for anyone escaping an abusive situation.

“A lot of times, we look at shelters as just a row of beds,” said Jones. “But we are a homey environment that provides all of these services that can help them stay away from their abuser.”

But even when help is available, many victims go back to their abusers one or several times before they make a permanent break.

If you or someone you know finds themselves in a situation in need of help or guidance, you can call the 24-hour hotline at 205-758-0808.

Categories: Crime, Local News