Category: Understanding Abuse

Sexual Violence is Everywhere

I am driving in my car, the radio on, and NPR is taking me through the news of the morning. And it finally overpowers me: every single story in the news is about sexual violence. Longtime local school superintendent resigns amidst allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Human trafficking is alleged at a day spa in Florida – and all over the country. Children in detention…

The Intersection of Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence

by a REACH Community Advocate Alcohol. Drugs. Substance use. Substance abuse. Substance dependency. Why is a domestic violence agency talking about it? What is an advocate’s role in supporting a survivor living with active addiction? Before discussing the intersection of substance abuse and domestic violence, it’s important to begin with a shared understanding of substance use, misuse, abuse (addiction) and dependency. Substance use occurs when someone uses…

How Toxic Masculinity Impacts Us All

By Angel Reyes, REACH volunteer Coming from Miami, Florida to Massachusetts was not an easy task for me. As an incoming 18-year-old college freshman, my goal in my first year in college was to play for the Lasell College Men’s Basketball Team and to be the best student I could be. Moving to another state was not easy, especially being away from my family and being…

10 Warning Signs of Abusive Relationships

…and what to say or do in response. Friends and family members are often among the first to notice the warning signs of abusive relationships. Because the signs of abuse aren’t always obvious right away, learning what to look for can help you start a conversation with a loved one and be an advocate for healthy relationships – long before an agency like REACH or law…

4 Ways to Create Space for Intersecting Identities

Last week, I went to an event hosted by Safe Havens and The Network/La Red which focused on intersectional identities.  Specifically, this event focused on the intersection of faith, sexual orientation, and domestic violence.  For the week leading up to this event, I could feel myself becoming more and more excited to engage in dialogue with other folks who shared in my passion for these three…

Suicide and Abusers

Anonymous For a while now, I have been supporting a friend whose sibling was in an abusive relationship.  My friend, so near and dear to my heart, was struggling both in supporting her sister, as well as being around her abusive partner.  The partner’s controlling behavior was concerning to say the least- monitoring texts, phone calls, and Facebook, instigating fights with her family members and then…

6 Different Types of Abuse

The commonly held definition of abuse, which we use in all of our trainings, is “a pattern of behavior used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another.” One thing to note about that definition is that we are talking about a pattern of behavior, in other words, not just one incident. These behaviors can take on a number of different forms….

Why Not Testify?

A few weeks ago, a heartbreaking video made the rounds on social media, showing a Florida judge scolding and ultimately sentencing a domestic violence survivor to three days in jail for refusing to appear in court to testify against her abuser. While this story is an extreme example of the reaction they face, it’s not uncommon for survivors to have ambivalence about participating in the criminal…

6 Things I Wish My Church Had Told Me about Domestic Violence

This October, for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, our emphasis has been about inspiring conversation about domestic violence and healthy relationships in our communities, including faith communities. This blog post originally appeared as a guest blog post for the Boston Faith and Justice Network.