Escaping the Violence: Experts give warning signs of domestic violence

Escaping the Violence: Experts give warning signs of domestic violence

After claims by the ex-girlfriend of shooting suspect Kody Lott was abusive in high school that has risen awareness to many people to how often domestic violence occurs.

NewsChannel 6 learned that domestic violence can range from verbal to physical abuse and there are warning signs that you can look out for.

"You know that gut feeling," said Chantel Grant, Educational Coordinator for First Step.  "That is the turning point in which we say this may not be a healthy relationship."

Thousands of young people will remain silent every year as they continue to be abused.  While some will report it, others will choose to stay silent for the sake of their lives.

"Abusers are really good at convincing their victims that they will find them," said Elizabeth Ivey an LPC intern at First Step. "They say that they will get them and if they can't find the victim that they have been perpetrating against, they will find those people's families, and their friends and attack or hurt them in some way to make the victim pay."

Grant said many can be experiencing domestic violence and not even be aware of it.

"If there is any type of behavior where someone is trying to change another person's behavior or their personality through any type of force such as intimidation or violence we are going to consider that as domestic violence or teen dating violence."

The signs of domestic violence can also vary in the age of the victim.

"As we get younger we are going to see a lot more emotional abuse which eventually graduates to physical abuse," Grant said.

Grant said she has one more bit of advice for anyone who may be going through an abusive relationship.

"You should never fear," Grant said.  "If your behavior is stopping because you're fearful that the person may break up with me like if I say the wrong thing they are going to break up with me or if you're fearful that if I do something wrong that they get angry with me. than that's a red flag."

Both Grant and Ivey want to remind victims that they are not alone, and the best thing they can do is tell someone you need help.

First Step also provides counseling for anyone that may be going through a domestic violence case.