Gladys Ortiz is an advocate for victims who struggle with domestic violence. Ortiz works with REACH, a non-profit organization that provides safety and support to survivors of abuse. She is also a program coordinator for Latinas Know Your Rights Program, a legal advocacy-training program.
Jessica Nieuwenhuizen is also an advocate for women who are struggling with domestic violence at Dove Inc., an organization that assists victims of domestic violence.
According to the 2010 for Massachusetts, nearly 1 in 3 Bay State women have experienced rape, physical and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lives. More than 1 in 7 women have experienced rape.
Some people think that domestic violence happens more in the immigrant community or among uneducated people , Ortiz explained. But she said that is a myth; domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone.
Nieuwenhuizen describes domestic violence as a pattern of power control, so someone might be experiencing a combination of different types of abuse. It could be verbal, emotional, psychological, physical, financial, or sexual abuse.
Some advocates say there are red flags that women need to watch out for in a relationship. Nieuwenhuizen said. women should look for “controlling behavior: the partner might be extremely jealous, they might be going through the victim’s phone, they might be showing up at work excessively.”
Another sign might be isolation for those experiencing domestic abuse. “Maybe cutting of connection, guilt-tripping them about spending time with their support system so over time that person may become isolated,” Nieuwenhuizen said.